The perks and dark side of being a scholar.
Well, first of all, getting chosen out of 80 others in a competition who is equally talented as you in a tiny Himalayan nation is associated with a tiny feeling of guilt and depression throughout the whole process. What if they could have done something better than you for your nation better than you.
First moving here, as I entered my room, the first thing mentioned from my roommate was labeling me as a ‘scholar’. I felt this wave of identity surge towards me, taking on this new alter ego. I first thought that I was being referred to as something mainly for my subject combinations. Later as I met with the other boarders, I found that I was being sifted into this specific group. The overachievers I hear some of them say, and I think overall I found myself with a group of talented individuals who had come from various corners of the globe. Specifically, I could feel that there is this stratification between scholars and non- scholars. So this issue is something like a mask that we all take upon and act it out amongst the UWC community. But there is this stereotyping about us being passionate, hard-working, committed and naturally smart. I mean how is that a bad thing, even if it is a good thing, it’s not just us but everyone part of the UWC movement should be isn’t it. A particular account I remember was this moment where I was talking to a day schooler who after asking a question about the floor I live in, asked whether it was tiring taking 9 flights of stairs. I replied about the elevators to which the person said “Oh I paid for that! “, I chuckled out a light-hearted laugh to avoid the awkward silence.
I think a viable solution here would be bringing this issue on a pervasive atmosphere, through raising awareness and overall having people realize how serious this really is because I feel that it’s just more like a joke to students. Well, I’ve got a thick skin but this needs to stop and we should consider providing moral support either from well-being counsellers or even elder scholars. We could try creating an all scholar committee who would reach out for each other, give advice and provide viable guidance.