Veronika Polekhina

Veronika Polekhina

UWC attended: United World College of Dilijan (Armenia)
Class Year: Class of 2028

Hi, my name is Veronika and I attended UWC Dilijan. A decision I made at 15 years old, back when I was clueless about who I was and what I wanted to be, has led me to a future I could have never even imagined for myself growing up. Before UWCD, I spent my whole life in Central Russia. I think kindly of my time there and I miss my hometown to this day. Still, I prefer to say that my life only started after I moved to Armenia. UWC Dilijan became my new home, and the relationships I made there are what shaped me and guided me through times of uncertainty.

I’ve traveled before, but none of it was as significant as living in Armenia. This country I didn’t know much about before is now a “shelter” for me to turn to when I don’t feel safe elsewhere. My experience with Armenia is not limited to campus grounds. I feel connected to Armenian culture now that I’ve left many great memories in the city of Yerevan and Dilijan town. First time living on my own, friendships, first love and the excitement of leaving the old life behind – that’s what Armenia feels like to me.

At UWCD, I found strength and liberation in my independence, finally coming to terms with my character. I now know much more about myself and accept my creative nature: I enjoy art and psychology, write songs, journal and crochet. I reconnected with this part of myself after taking IB Visual Arts. I became a part of an artistic community for the first time, which inspired me to explore art and provided me with a great support system. Art became a silent voice I used to share my opinions and establish new values. I shortly got into abstract art and visual symbolism, then became obsessed with visual analysis and based most of my IB work on it.

Of course, diversity at UWCD was not only limited to culture: it’s also about the variety of personal interests among the students. That’s how I ended up meeting a lot of fascinating people who were into STEM. I spent most of my school years trying to get better at logical stuff and eventually developed a competitive spirit for it. I even took IB Physics to test myself and spent many nights trying to figure out whether I’m cut for this type of work. This endless battle between Arts and STEM inspired me to pursue Computer Science as my major at L&C. I would love to work in game design one day as a compromise between creativity and logic within me.

Now that it’s finally time to move on from UWC Dilijan, I feel more certain than ever that Lewis & Clark is the right place for me. I enjoy the rich student body, the breathtaking nature and, of course, the opportunities this education gives me as an international student. I once made a choice as a fifteen-year-old girl to always aim higher and higher up until I find my place in the world. Now I am okay with myself and I’m ready to become a part of this new community. I hope that L&C is going to be a place for me to embrace this peace of mind and share it with the people around me.