We were introduced to many different cultures and people which was very overwhelming to start with and for some of us it was a new experience. We learned to respect and be open minded about the other cultures and religions, although we may be different in that sense, but then again we are also the same. Having to adjust to this we had to go beyond our comfort zones and this resulted in us gaining knowledge and friendships.
Regent’s students meet Queen Elizabeth II.
The Wellington College crew made sure that no one from the same school had any activities with each other and that they were in different meal queues, boarding houses and barazza groups. This allowed us to make new friends and bond with a group of people who we wouldn’t have done normally if we already knew someone who was with us. This made some of us anxious but it definitely got us to speak up and do things we wouldn’t do on an everyday basis.
Delegates and Mr. Crouch getting ready to perform a Muay Thai dance.
Activities such as the service day and adventure day are good examples of people reaching beyond their limits physically. Service activities that required manual labour such as cutting down trees or cleaning the beach were activities that were demanding and new for many of us. We needed to push ourselves mentally and physically to get the job done to the best of our abilities in conditions and environments that we weren’t accustomed to.
The Barazza groups were organized by names of different underground stations in England such as Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Kings Cross Station. There were 2 barazza leaders in each group who were students at Wellington College and had volunteered to do this job. The groups consisted not only of students but of teachers, headmasters and headmistresses from different schools. Although they were teachers they were placed in the discussion group as equals with the students. During these barazza sessions, we discussed what the keynote speaker had said and how this relates to the theme of the conference ‘Reaching Beyond Our Limits’ along with many other questions and discussions.
Nine and Ha Eun release red, white and blue balloons.
The barazza sessions gave everyone the chance to listen, speak their opinions and receive feedback. Listening to other people say what they thought about the speaker or the issue presented made it clear that despite the fact we were all from different countries, we all had many ideas that we wanted to share and we were all at the conference for the same reason. Hearing someone give feedback on your idea, making it better, giving you constructive criticism and agreeing with them makes you feel as if you have achieved something and that you are at the conference for a very good reason.
These sessions really made me feel like I was there for a reason and with just the small act of contributing to a group discussion had me feel like I belonged. After listening to what the other people from different cultures and countries had to say about all the issues I realized how much potential we have as young people and how we can change the world because WE are the future.