Finals and The Queen

I was lucky enough to be able to go to Scotland last week for Easter break to visit relatives and study. I loved being able to see another part of the UK and had a lovely time touring around the country and visiting family. It was a nice break before the return to busy, stressful college life. This week is a very busy one at Atlantic College; it’s first year exams! These grades are going to play a large part in the grades we apply to college with, so it is a very important time here. Since Easter was so late this year, the break came right before exams, leaving many students studying instead of relaxing. I think I was able to find the perfect balance of both!

On a very exciting note, THE QUEEN IS COMING! The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are visiting Atlantic College next Wednesday. The school has been preparing for quite a while but they weren’t allowed to announce it officially for security reasons. I am not sure what the plans are for her visit other than a large school assembly and some students talking to her about different aspects of student life here. The official announcement was reported from the BBC here.

There is another wonderful project going on right now about the whole UWC movement. If you want to know more about the completely unique and amazing schools that make up the United World Colleges, watch this short trailer for a documentary that should be coming out soon. There are many familiar faces of my classmates at Atlantic College in it!

Busy Busy Busy

I apologize for not posting for a while! It has been a very crazy time here. A lot has happened in the past couple months. School lead conferences, exams starting in just two weeks, and struggling to balance school, friends, and sleep. To start, we had project week the first week of March. I went to Brussels (Belgium) and the Hague (the Netherlands). We visited many important politicians, NGO leaders, and think tanks in the two cities. I was able to get a much better understanding of how European Politics work and how International Politics work. Since this is a field I want to go into, this was the perfect opportunity to learn more about it. One of the best moments on the trip was at the Wishlist for Europe event. It was where citizens from all over Europe could come to the European Parliament in Brussels and voice their opinions on what they want for the new Parliament. I was struck by how open and honest the politicians that were talking were, even though they were the heads of their respective departments. I wished that all politics could be like this! The trip also happened to fall on my 18th birthday, which was a very fun time. I was able to spend it in two different countries with some great people. It was definitely a trip to remember!

Also, my family came to visit me last week! My sister had spring break so she and my parents came up to see the school for the first time and meet my new friends here. My grandparents joined them for the second weekend and it was a much needed break from the crazy life here. I loved having them here and can’t wait to see them again soon!

At this point, I think many people will be aware that one of my American co-years here at AC, Colin, took his life a few weeks ago. This was one of the first times I had lost a friend so young and in an environment like AC, the bond you have with everyone here is undeniable. To lose someone unexpectedly leads to many questions and few answers. And as our principal wisely put it, this is a school full of kids who are always asking the question ‘why’. And with this instance, we probably aren’t going to get an answer. Colin was a fantastic friend and was constantly smiling. Every time I saw him I could count on him to brighten up my day. He will be remembered all around the world by everyone he came into contact with. I already miss seeing his face around campus and it will take time to adjust to. It has been a tough time here but the community definitely came together and was so supportive of each other. Please keep Colin’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they struggle to deal with their loss.