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uwcea semester 1; friendships, familiarity, and future nostalgia πŸ’Œ

❝ There is nothing more beautiful or fragile than being human. ❞

– me looking for emo quotes at 3am

I remember when I first got into UWC I promised myself I’d do my best to document everything because I knew the two years would be over before I knew it. My first semester here is over and I thought filming things would be the best form of documentation, but there is so much that goes unspoken in between clips, and I’m always somewhat confused when I go through my camera roll and there are gaps in my memory between the pictures and videos. Since I haven’t posted here in over a year, I was curious to see what got me into blogging in the first place. I was nostalgic one evening so I decided to read previous UWCEA students’ blogs and their stories almost left me in tears (key word: almost). Perhaps words could have the same cathartic effect as filmmaking.

So let’s go back to where it all started.

“Hello, I’m Wadana from Pakistan.”

Flying to a new continent and finding home in a little town in Tanzania, those were the first words on the tip of my tongue when I met someone new. All of a sudden I was no longer just Wadana, I was Wadana (some called me Wanada) from Pakistan, and I had to carry that everywhere with me. Names and faces blurred into a catastrophic concoction, and it took a while to get used to all the new people. Since then, so much has changed. I’m no longer surrounded by strangers but people who I have made unforgettable memories with. There are countless stories attached to all the faces now. Walking down the corridors of school, there is familiarity all around me, and it makes me fall in love with life here every day.

UWC started to feel real when I got on a car to Islamabad, ready to catch my flight to Doha, and eventually get to Moshi, the place I’d grow to call my home. It’s crazy how I have barely been here for half a year, yet everything feels so familiar. From the silence on campus over the weekends to the loud clubs around the corner, Moshi became home. I can’t believe I’ll have to leave this place in one and a half year, or that the D2s only have around four months of their UWC experience left.

This is my sixth school, and before coming here I thought I had mastered the art of saying goodbye, but some part of me feels so nostalgic for an experience I’m still living. The trips to Moshi Town, thrifting at Memorial, chaotic nights where we have to get back from Kaka’s at 9:45pm, running to the pitch for pink skies and Kili, the sketchy Indian restaurant in town, living with people from all around the world; everything became so normal but at times I have to pause and think about how surreal it is. I’m trying not to go down the downward spiral of UWC being over and then having an existential crisis, but instead learning to appreciate the little things about the whole experience.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun, because the last few months felt like they slipped from my hands in the blink of an eye. Thinking about it now, so much has happened and so much has changed, and at the same time some things never will. I’m getting more used to life on campus, trying (and sometimes failing) at achieving a balance between studying, socializing, and sleeping. I’m excited to see what this semester 2 has in store; I can’t wait to see more beautiful sunsets, spend lazy weekends roaming around campus, stress over the IB but get things done nevertheless, and make new memories to reminisce over. πŸ–€

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