“Expectations are high; so high that I’m trying hard to tone them down.”

Hannah Platzer (Austria, AC 10-12)

Having fun, being socially active and meeting interesting people: some quite decent expectations to start with, don’t you think? All of us seem to feel this way right now and, at least in my case, summer vacation is more of a burden than something to enjoy. Ever since I’ve received the vital phone call, it seems like my life has changed quite a bit; and Atlantic College hasn’t even started yet!

Suddenly everybody had great advice of how to “survive” a boarding school’s life and how it is going to be like. The fact that none of them ever attended one didn’t seem to matter of course. Movies, books and newspapers had obviously given enough information about it. They’ve become experts in their subjects: My grandmother, who spends 99 per cent of the time in the kitchen, has already started preparing foods to send to me. “I have heard England’s cuisine ain’t the best”, she explained after asking her about it. I am not really convinced though that her homemade delicacies will ever find their way to me. She still tells her lipstick-on-teeth-wearing friends that I am going to visit a school in England. My Wikipedia print-out about Atlantic College and especially the underlined part about it being in Wales were obviously ignored. My pre-adolescent sister on the other hand didn’t have to say much. She suffers from the ‘OMG’-syndrome, a nationwide illness it seems. With an: “OMG! Four people in one room?! You’ll need earplugs!”, she dramatically walked off back into her salmon coloured room. Mum has regular and impressively long scream attacks of joy, where she gets all sentimental and starts hugging and kissing those who can’t find a close tree to jump onto quickly enough. I could list a thousand things that have changed since I’ve heard the words: “You’re in.”

Expectations are high; so high that I’m trying hard to tone them down. Some of them have even fulfilled themselves already and yet I still hang on to this one thing that I and all of my surroundings think is probably the most important thing to, well “survive” boarding school: friends. Yes, I know, it sounds disgustingly cheesy and cliché and yes, I know Atlantic College will not bring me friends automatically. If I’ve learned anything so far it is that nothing is for free in life. On the other hand, and I am absolutely positive about that, the fact that all of us have worked their butts off to get into this school, makes us in some way already acquaintances. So, no, Atlantic College won’t give me friends for free. It is more like 50% off for Sale!

-United World Colleges Student Magazine-

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