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21 July 2020

Filip Goshevski, UWC Maastricht

Filip is full of enthusiasm. 

When I asked him about his future high school -- UWC Maastricht, the Netherlands -- his eyes opened wide. During the last interview of the selection process, candidates tend to have a good idea of which College they want to go to. They usually know whether the College is in an urban or rural environment and which courses they want to take. Filip’s enthusiasm was different. He already knew that he wanted to go to Maastricht specifically, mentioning the community-outreach extracurriculars (Filip has worked with the Red Cross), the project weeks focused on social entrepreneurship, and the various conferences organised by the College students. 

He isn’t passionate only about UWC. Filip is wholeheartedly engaged in Smojmirovo, a village near Berovo, where he grew up. He describes Smojmirovo as a “very, very, very, very small place”, where “everyone knows everyone else”. But, that didn’t stop him from actively participating in science competitions. Even when adults around him weren’t supportive -- it had happened that he would be told “don’t study so much, go outside and rest a bit” -- Filip continued to maintain his drive. Already in the sixth grade he made it to a state competition in biology, starting his long relationship with the natural sciences. 

“I’m absolutely fascinated by how the human body works.” His experience with natural sciences motivates Filip to study medicine in the future. Again, with a voice full of joy, he told me how he’s already preparing for his new academic curriculum. He is practicing German, and if he could have, he would have taken four (instead of three) higher level subjects: chemistry, biology, English and German. While we were talking, Filip easily slipped in ideas and individuals that he’d read about. For instance, he told me about John Adler, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University, as an example of a possible roadmap for his own future. 

Like any high schooler, Filip sometimes isn’t sure. “I don’t know who I’ll hang out with and I don’t know who I’ll meet -- we all have these fears.” But, the way in which he opened up about his insecurities and the many plans he’s already made are both signs that his experience at UWC Maastricht will be one of growth. That kind of growth is necessary, he told me, to improve the local community. “If you want to improve the situation around you, you need to go out, learn, go back, and apply what you have learned.”

At the end of our conversation, I asked him if I had missed anything. Entirely within character, Filip immediately had an answer: “I like psychology and murders… No, no, I don’t like murders! I’m interested in the psychology of killers -- I am surprised by how a person can consciously hurt someone else without feeling bad.”



July 21, 2020