In all honesty, I started off my two weeks at King’s a little shy, a little introverted and very uncomfortable. The idea of speaking in front of fifty people, of being thrust into a group of teenagers and being expected to mingle, was terrifying to me, and as anybody in my psychology class could tell you, my motto for the first couple of days was “hide in the back” and hope to be spared of the awkward small talk.
The thing about small talk though, is that it wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be. All I had to do was start. After taking an embarrassingly long morning to muster the bravery, I said say hi to my desk partner, and next thing I knew, I was being introduced to people from Taiwan, South Africa, Dubai, Poland, Romania; people from all over the world. I even came across a guy my age who had been living twenty minutes away from me for the past 16 years.
And as cheesy and cliché as it all sounds, the next two weeks were probably some of the most memorable and impactful I’ve ever had. Coming from a small school and never having studied psychology before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. What I got was an hour of meditation (yes, as a class), the opportunity to hold a human brain, which was strangely more exhilarating than I thought it would be, and a whole lot of talking about people and their minds. Without exaggeration, I loved every day. While I came in being unsure about my future prospects, I left almost positive that I wanted to pursue psychology.
But if I had to leave King’s with just one word, that word, I think, would be grateful. While at King’s, I realised that my life could, in fact, reach beyond just high school, that there were possibilities and opportunities waiting for me outside those that I had come to know at home. Meeting my teachers, my ambassadors, people from all over the world, allowed me to see a glimpse of what, if I worked hard, my future could become, and it was a future that I couldn’t wait to be a part of. I grew and I broke out of my comfort zone. I gave an oral presentation in front of my class and, surprisingly, didn’t die. I wrote a paper and, surprisingly, won a prize for it. I started conversations with people I didn’t know, and now we relentlessly poke fun at each other’s Facebook photos and send each other Snapchats while sitting on beds 3000 miles apart.
So yeah, you could say I’m pretty grateful.