Written by Selin (Class of 2017, Turkey)
In our continued efforts to keep our alumni involved and engaged with our community, we have the New Faces features! Alumni will have the opportunity to interview new students to UWC ISAK Japan and find out more about them, and the community they are building on campus. For our first ever feature, we were glad to have Lucy (Class of 2020, Canada) interviewed by Selin (Class of 2017, Turkey)! Lucy is from Denman Island in Canada, with a population of just 1000 people. She calls herself a “multipotentialite” because of her varied interests in basically every area one can think of. This led her to join a lot of clubs at ISAK from cross-country to dance to TED-Ed to ping pong and philosophy.
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
I want to make a difference because UWC ISAK Japan is such a young UWC. It’s still growing and I want to bridge the gap between the new students and the returning students, as well as between the students from National Committee and those who are direct intake. I’m also on the Assembly Planning Committee which is trying to make the assemblies more interesting and engaging. Even though I think they are an important time for the whole school to bond, people tend not to pay attention and think it’s a waste of time. I want to change that for the community.
What is your view on UWC ISAK’s unique curriculum?
I really love the leadership program. I was surprised by how all the activities are planned and executed by students. It gives us a sense of responsibility over our own education and pushes us to take initiative in making our school what we want it to be. Stop & Clean, for example, is really interesting in this sense, since you don’t leave a mess when you realize the importance – it builds a lot of responsibility.
I also really like the structure of classes. We started a new system of rotation where there are three different schedules that rotate every three weeks. This means a change in location too, which really mixes things up. I also like having class in residence buildings, like in the common area out on the couches. In classes like TOK, our teacher implemented a question-answer system and we simply have conversations. I feel more in-charge as a student but it’s a lot more relaxed and a really cool learning environment that way.
What do you want to do in the future? How do you think UWC ISAK will help you?
In terms of a career, I really have no idea what I want to do because I’m interested in so many different areas. I really want to impact other people positively. I’m really passionate about spreading happiness to make the world a better place. I also want to meet and talk to as many people as I can just to get to know them. With every person I get to know, I learn and grow more as a person myself.
I think ISAK is giving me the skills to be more confident and learn how to have respectful and appropriate conversations with people from other cultures. It’s also teaching me how to take responsibility through activities like Stop & Clean, which is always going to be useful in any kind of job you have.
Through being at a UWC and at ISAK, you also really learn how small the world is and how connected we all are in some way. I was talking to this guy here and apparently his cousin lives in Canada and I went to a camp with him, and we just found that connection!
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about happiness. I really love and respect the wisdom of the Dalai Lama and believe in the butterfly effect, which is where, just by being kind to other people, you create a butterfly effect which makes a big difference in the world. By doing that I can live my best life and have a positive impact on people around me without contributing anything negative to anybody’s life.
That’s the amazing thing about UWC. It’s not about raising people who are going to go out and be a prime minister or something huge like that, it’s just about raising good-hearted, open-minded people who will go out into the world and have a positive impact on anybody they meet. That is what I’m passionate about – making a difference in that way.
How do you believe the alumni can build relationships with the ISAK community?
I think it would be really amazing if alumni would come to assemblies and talk about their experiences here. There were some videos of people on campus giving advice to first years who were coming to ISAK. They were talking about things like “oh this is what to bring and what not to bring” or “these are things we didn’t expect”, and I spent my summer watching all those videos! I would be watch all the people in the videos and wonder who they were, and since some of them had graduated that year, it was a way for me to get to know them without ever meeting them in person.