UWC + EYP Friendship: Friendship that transcended boundaries

One of the aims of the EYP Armenia is to connect young people with like-minded individuals and to create strong bonds of commitment and friendship leading to building a stronger community within and beyond our country. Luckily, it has proven to be successful with many examples of EYPers coming and sticking together, thus creating a strong friendship.

This short story is about 3 ambitious youngsters who, having heard of one another in the scope of EYP, first met and got together due to the Facebook chat for UWC students where Karina told Erik and Hovhannes about the Nobel Days program. As Erik said, “What engaged us more was the chance of going to the UWC Dilijan College as part of the program. After we were done with the lectures of the first day, we were super bored and decided to hang out, instead of going home. This became the turning point, because this is when our friendship started. We continued hanging out during the next days (plot twist: we did not attend any more lectures), and became even closer during the trip to Dilijan. This is a brief story about the roots of our friendship.”

For the time being, they are in very different parts of the world (Karina Gevorgyan – UWC USA; Hovhannes Nersisyan – UWC Singapore, Erik Ananyan – UWC Armenia), but what connects them is the friendship created through EYP and UWC that they cherish even now, when  one of them is going to sleep, whereas the other one is just starting the day and the third one is almost finishing it.

I decided to talk to them and to see how they remember the start of their friendship and all the adventures that followed.

 

1. “Why did you decide to apply to the UWC? Was it a planned decision with your 2 other friends?”

E: “As I have always been kind of a perfectionist person, UWC seemed a chance for me to get out of the everyday 13325451_1013138492096459_6863151648656172601_nroutine and to finally feel sophistication in my life. Moreover, it was a great opportunity to challenge myself both mentally and emotionally, as well as get a quality education in a multicultural environment, with people from more than 80 nations, who were “hand-picked” to study in the same place. As working towards an interpersonal exchange, as well as a deeper understanding of the modern world and its issues have always been a big portion of my ideals, UWC was something that I felt really positive about.”

K: “This was my second year that I was applying to UWC and it hadn’t been planned with my friends because we got to know each other due to UWC. The first time when I heard about UWC it was just an opportunity for me to get my education abroad, not even in Dilijan. The second time I applied there wasn’t any difference for me where I would go because I was applying as a big believer of the UWC mission.”

H: “When UWC Dilijan was still just an idea, I went to one presentation where the representatives of my future college spoke about the college in general. From that day, I had always wanted to get a chance to study there and to make most out of it. In November 2015, I found out about the application process and I applied. Obviously, it wasn’t a planned decision with Karina and Erik because at that time we didn’t even know each other, and for me, even though UWC gives thousands of opportunities, “finding” them was the biggest out of all.”

 

2. “How did EYP Armenia and EYP in general influence you as an individual and make you competitive for the admission?”

E: “When first participating in an event organized by EYP, which was Dilijan Academic EYP Forum (Dilijan all the way) in October, 2015, I was just a person seeking for some social activity in my CV, though when it came to the last day of the forum I felt like I am leaving my home, my family, my friends. Since that, EYP has become something that I love, something that I am passionate about. It has shaped me as an individual, as well as given me motivation and inspiration for all of my future endeavours, including and especially the UWC admission. EYP has made me really competitive for the admission, as it gave me a clear understanding of my goals and of my own personality.”

13092130_1712246435695624_556985903856754852_nK: “I will say what was one of my advantages: my teamwork skills which I also got from EYP  because when people gather for one common idea and  put all  their efforts for its development and success, they don’t even feel how they grow as an individuals during working together. EYP taught me to notice what’s going on around me and even now EYP makes me realize the importance of appreciation. It wasduring international forums where I understood what it meant to be international-minded and it’s time to thank EYP for having prepared me for my UWC adventure.”

H: “EYP gave me an incredible amount of motivation to fight and achieve my goals. After my first forum, I remember Hovsep telling me just two words, “Stay involved”. I’ve listened to him, I stayed, and it led to another 2-word conversation with him almost 9 months after:  “You’ve grown”. For me, this was the greatest ever motivation to work harder than ever and become even better. Most importantly, EYP is not just about academics, EYP is all about people. That’s why none of us (EYP-ers) calls it just an organization, we call it a family. EYP gave me friends for life, the ones who were there for me when I needed them. EYP “gave” me my Nune, Lilit, Svetlana. In a nutshell, EYP shaped my mindset and my life in general in a way nothing else did.”

 

3. “What would you advise to the EYP Alumni who consider applying to the UWC?”

E: “The one thing that I would advise to anyone applying to the UWC is to just be yourselves, instead of working towards becoming someone suitable for the selection committee. This phrase that sounds so basic seems to be so true in the case of UWC. Be foolish, absurd, crazy, as long as it reflects your true self. Moreover, we live only one life, so try to engage in things that you love and respect, instead of going for any voluntary work just because it would look beautiful in your CV.”

K: “Believe that you are an artist and you can create something beautiful that the world will need. Because being an artist is not only about drawing or singing, it is about creating. Always put your dreams higher than you are because if you don’t even achieve them, you will pass something big on your way. You will in my place because of your uniqueness. And instead of asking someone else what you can do for succeeding ask yourself what you really want to do. Open and read UWC home page (http://uwcdilijan.org/admissions/student-profile) which would help you to understand whether you belong or not. And even if you don’t belong but it is something you are passionate about start working for it.”

H: “First and foremost, my advice to people who want to apply to UWC is to be ready to face challenges and not to give up. UWC is all about encountering challenges, the challenge can be getting into UWC, or leaving your home and changing your life 180 degrees. You should be ready to fight for your goals and to never stop. Secondly, during the application process be yourselves, people who will evaluate your application value your personality more than your Mathematics skills. Last, but not least, already start practicing your English, because it’s a vital part of the application process, and if you get in, it’s going to be easier to adapt to the English-speaking community.”

 

Hearing their stories and getting emotional, I decided to check their knowledge of one another through a small test. I have asked them the exact same questions about one another, and got the answers that differ. Let’s see!

Friendship Test

E: Favorite movie: Karina – Mr. Nobody, Hovo – Social Network

Favorite word to use: Karina – վայ, Hovo – ավե

Dream destination: Karina – India, Hovo – Japan

Annoying habit: Karina – being late all the time, Hovo– none

 

13529179_1729375310649403_3582834516223762990_nK: Favorite movie: Erik – Detachment, Hovo – Grand Budapest Hotel

Favorite word to use: Erik – ուժաս, ինքնագովեստ, Hovo – ասենք՝առռիվա

Dream destination: Erik – MFA of Armenia, Hovo – Prime-Minister of Armenia

Annoying habit: Erik – You can write a message with 1000 words, full of emotions and get an answer of just one smile only;Hovo–When you hug him, he cares more about the cleanliness of his shoes than about you.

 

H: Favorite movie: Karina – Interstellar, Erik – Shawshank redemption

Favorite word to use: Karina – վայ, Erik – Let’s go eat something

Dream destination: Karina – she wants to study in Berkeley, Erik – he wants to pursue a degree in law, so his first preferences are Berkeley and Oxford

Annoying habit: Karina – always late, Erik – always late

Being proud of the three of them, we are wishing them wonderful two years of adventures and on their comeback, we expect to see them as better people for their communities. EYP Family is always with you!

Love & Peace!

©Pictures are taken from their personal galleries.

Interviewed by Anatoli Chernyaev

Posted by Diana Ghazaryan

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