By Aryan Sahai, High School student and Founder of United Worldwide, East Campus
Getting up at 6.30am to catch the school bus is no easy task. I gather all of my willpower to drag myself out of bed and get ready for school instead. It’s 7am; my school bus arrives in two minutes. I throw on my uniform and dash out the house. I hear the bus engine steam and its heavy doors slowly begin to close. With my bag bouncing off of my back, I make it just in time before the bus exits the condominium. I move to sit at the back end of the bus wondering what the day has in store for me.
As the bus nears the UWCSEA East entrance, I see the Junior, Middle, and High Schoolers walking to school like a colony of ants; trailing in slowly.Upon reaching the bus bay, I step off the bus and immediately the morning rush kicks in, the school roaring like a beast awakened from hibernation. The plethora of students, all from diverse backgrounds, each carrying within them countless untold stories.
I realise how fortunate I am to be able to meet these people who vary in race, culture, colour, background, beliefs, and experiences. But most importantly, I realisethat there are 19 other UWC campuses hosting over thousands of students with millions of stories that may never be heard.
In pursuit of finding these stories and sharing them with as many people as possible, I decided to create the UWC magazine, United Worldwide, featuring student-written and personal articles that reflect what it means to be a UWC student. In order to truly realise our mission of “making education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”, we need to first be united amongst ourselves.
I started by looking for contacts on each of the UWC websites, and social media platforms such as Google and LinkedIn. I initially only received a few replies. With the multitude of interconnected ideas overlapping in my head like an uncoordinated spider’s web, I was unable to express myself clearly. Hence, I had to clear up my own thoughts and in doing so, designed a manual explaining what United Worldwide is about.
The first campus I got a response from was UWC East Africa's Arusha Campus, and I had the opportunity to connect with passionate writers who wanted to be part of this initiative. After scheduling video calls through WhatsApp, I was finally able to put faces to names. To be able to meet these people who showed interest in this global initiative was so heartwarming; their welcoming smiles and polite greetings made me realise that there is a whole world unexplored, filled with kindness and unique people.
But things soon plateaued.
Time was ticking, and stories were being lost.
The most unique method of contacting people only came later; I was scrolling through my social media and saw that one UWC had gone live on Instagram and I was able to find connections through the school’s page. I was overwhelmed with the warm reception I received, despite being a stranger emerging from nowhere, all because I am a part of the UWC family.
From debate prodigies, Shakespeare-esque poets, football fanatics to budding world leaders, and – most importantly – fabulous writers, I have had the opportunity to meet such motivational people. I have been left speechless at how helpful and compassionate every person I have communicated with has been. I have looked forward to sending every email, taking every call, and reading every article I have received.
For our first edition on the 28 February 2020, I want to celebrate the hard work that everyone who is a part of United Worldwide has put in. From all the staff members who have helped make this a possibility and to all the students who spent hours on end writing these articles, I want to say a heartfelt thank you. I am extremely grateful for everyone’s contribution throughout this whole process of bringing this dream alive.
So far this has been my journey worldwide, about our UWC family, about uniting thousands of students, staff members, parents, and alumni across the globe.
Now, let’s take it forward, share our stories, and make this our United Worldwide journey.
To truly bring the mission to "make education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future", United Worldwide is a student-led solution – bringing together all UWC students from around the world.
United Worldwide is an online magazine started by UWC student Aryan Sahai, who attends UWCSEA (East campus) in Singapore. United Worldwide captures the essence of what it means to be a student of the United World College movement. Spanning all the UWCs, United Worldwide is a common platform and an avenue to truly unite the 18 schools and colleges in the UWC movement. United Worldwide's global audience consists of students, teachers, parents, alumni and a range of people beyond the immediate UWC community as well. Our goal is to share stories that may remain otherwise untold.