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Once a panda, always a panda?

Term three at LPC has been tumultuous as 2020 likely has been for everyone. As such, I feel lucky to have even been able to come back to Hong Kong; I know students of many other UWCs didn't have that privilege. And in midst of uni applications, IA/EE deadlines and mock exams, I'm finally stressed enough again to say 'fudge it' and write a new blog post.


Where do I start?


Summer break, quarantine, re-establishing myself as "Masha-Lu", sitting postponed Y1 exams, Firsties, hiking suicide cliff at night (SEE HERE!!!!) and climbing malls, thrifting, ears pierced, virtual Christmas, project week cancelled, tamjai dates. Lots of laughter and lots of crying. Many high highs Masha-style and low lows with the bureaucracy of UWC (or is it just my school?)


Attempts at mindfulness and building meaningful connections as well as planning a baby to become the epitome of Eurocentrism.


Oh and also, I moved rooms mid-way through my second year. To be fair, that was mainly because there were five people in my room which has barely ever happened in the history of LPC (rumours say it's because the school is broke and had to take in as many full-payers as possible...), but also because my room wasn't really an environment I felt comfortable in anymore. It was not necessarily that I didn't get along with my roomies as people but more so the disconnection and loneliness I felt in my minuscule space, cornered by curtains, not being able to open half my cupboards due to the lack of space in my corner. Nights were filled with the whisper [and other noises] of a roomie's boyfriend much to the discomfort of the rest of us. Unnatural lights had to be cut all day, or more practically said, we spent majority of our days in utter darkness with yellow desk lamps that drove me cray-cray (as a good friend of mine would say). We didn't know each other -we didn't get to- but I felt like I was the only one who was bothered by that. Maybe that was just me yearning for the luxury of being roomies with my closets friends like last year and not being able to deal with it. Or maybe, I just didn't put in enough effort.


Be as it may, I grabbed my chance to a new start when a bed in another block ("turtles") opened up as a second year girl from Japan didn't return after summer. And so it came that I moved during Christmas break-into a room with no curtains, with daily music jam sessions and amusable yet jaunty roomie outings and peculiarity and funerals and learning how to say good night in each of our languages. A room where we live together rather than co-exist.

After just four weeks here, I feel confident to say I truly love these people and although I may not know them much yet, I know how they have influenced my whole attitude towards life these days. And I will be forever grateful for that; because admits term 3 stress and with COVID denying us the UWC experience we had so desperately wanted, I would be lying if I said there weren't numerous moments where I had contemplated all my life choices and just wished to go home and start all over again. As hard as it may be to believe, being a panda turned turtle has given me back the excitements of living in a UWC that I thought I had long lost. It made me want to stay.


Anyschways, I hope this little heartfelt rant brought you joy or tears or whatever emotions it was never intended to provoke. This is where I'm gonna skedaddle and leave it to you to decide whether to stay around (& maybe even check out my term 3 gallery which will provide muchhhh more insight into my life the past few months than some lines ever could) or to swipe left on me for now.


In all things UWC and of course lots of love (LOL),


Masha






Alsooo big thanks to deviant art for the cute panda-turtle drawing that literally encapsulates my identity conflicts right now... <3











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