Yannic Steffan '06
"Being unconventional means looking at the ‘taken-for-granted-beliefs’ we encounter every day and questioning them. The resulting behaviour is not rejection, but reflection."
Looking back to my time at WMS I think of great classmates, Burroughs dorm, the dark blue team, my host family, wonderful faculty and many first-time experiences in the outdoors. All that is very special, however, what seems most important to me is the life journey that I started at WMS seven years ago. It’s a journey all young people go on at some time: the search to find out what makes sense in life. And, even more generally, what life makes sense to me; what kind of life do I want to pursue.
It wasn’t a coincidence that this journey started at WMS. The atmosphere at this place is different than what I had known back home. It encouraged me to question plans I had before. The way WMS did that was special. WMS doesn’t push people to be alternative. Instead it encouraged me to be unconventional. The difference is important. Being unconventional means looking at the ‘taken-for-granted-beliefs’ we encounter every day and questioning them. The resulting behaviour is not rejection, but reflection. During my time as a student at WMS the incentives to be unconventional were omnipresent. Be it in academic classes or in the broader community after class, be it in places like the bench on Hood’s Hill or in the outdoors during sports or on OLEs [Field Courses]. The journey started at WMS.
Eventually this journey will lead to a personal set of conventions or values that make sense to me. Following these values will lead to the kind of life that makes sense to me. I am glad that I found many places like the Hood’s Hill bench and the mountains. After completing high school, I spent a year in South Africa as a volunteer and I am now a business student at St Gallen, Switzerland. I have moved along from WMS but, because of my experience at WMS, I am still unconventional and remain on the same personal, little journey that I began while at WMS.
Thanks, WMS, for welcoming me back every time I visit. Each time, I can clearly feel that same atmosphere that started it all for me in 2004-05.
- Yannic Steffan '06