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Hope for a truly integrated school & a disciplined self

Nguyen Than Thuy Linh

· eye-opening,self-motivated

What makes a school the best school?

I first heard about UWC (World United College) 2 months ago. It was also when I was considering the gap year- decision. I did wish if I was born one more time, I wish I could attend this amazing college (high school). There was a boy in my Development Studies Course, a Norwegian guy, 21 y.o, said everyone should have one year to study law, one year for psychology, one year for politics etc. The boy has an acute mind with strong opinions about humanity, politics and everything that I crazily admire him. I was extremely curious about his background, of course, most of Scandinavians are smart in their own way but this guy is really smart. He was an alumni of UWC Netherlands, who quit the established uni-Minerva in USA and pursues Development Studies.

Today I accompanied Liu Yan, as a parent of a candidate, to join the school tour around UWC Southeast Asia (Singapore) led by a cool Indian girl who just moved to this huge campus this year. She is in grade 11 with a passion for cooking, sports, and social activities. She got around 3 weeks to get settled down in this school, with friends, teachers, especially the campus. I probably would have 1 month or more to solve this maze out. Liu Yan’s son is also a history expert and has a keen interest in geography, drama, Dutch language & Hockey at the age of 14.

Most of other campuses in the world consist of grade 9-12, excepting the one in SG providing programs for students all the way from grade 1-12. The admission process is incredibly rigorous. Students who are over 11 are required to write a personal statement to show their identity to the school. The school’s principle is to integrate all individuals into a community that grows together towards a sustainable future. Being rich is not enough to be eligible, furthermore, you must express yourself your interest & what you have to contribute to the diversity of the school.

UWC students have more or less 300 extracurriculum activities to choose within “uncountable buildings” of Art, Sports, Maths, Science, Innovation… and several practical academic subjects like Global perspective, Humanity, Science, IT, Physical Education. Sustainable development is a crucial part of UWC in the sense that everyone need to do service to help people and know the people around them. The library, sports hall, and some science labs are supper bizarre and energetic with full of active students and great facilities. The tuition fee is out of reach for me.

It is just like a mini-university of the best university.

As a village girl in Vietnam, I do not know what to express. This is too much for a person’s need but too good to be able to afford. How it can integrate even poor students into these ideal places…

This is what absolutely impressed me and not an advertising post.

Relationships tight our discipline up

I ask Liu Yan “What do you think about Scape with full of young Start-up working surrounding an experienced team?”. Some people highly focus in their work and just work on them all day long. They are young and have flexible time on different relationships. For her, her time’s organization changed a lot since she got a family. Also, School of Gumption already have their own eco-system and need not involve closely in this community. Human can become more disciplined as the relationships need our time dividing. Sometimes, it’s hard to consider the priority of who to take care or what relationship to go on.

She set the alarm to start leaving at 9:30 but till 9:28, she still had meditation to go. She thought that 15 minutes of meditation would only spoil all of the plan and be disrupted by the worrying thoughts thus she decided to just go! Little things account for important meaning in our life. The status of being messy and procrastinating can be “a usual self”. The status of being awake and disciplined is likely “a new self”. The challenge is how to alter that “usual self” by the “new self”. Just do it!

We are often put in the situations when we have to decide should we continue sleeping or get up.

That's life.

“Being disciplined help you be mindful, be comfortable, be in control of the plan and manage time strategically. If you can’t face with the alarm clock, you can’t do anything”

_Liu Yan_

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