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21 July 2020

Mila Naumovska, Mahindra UWC in India

Mila is seemingly care-free.

She starts almost every story with “do you want to hear something funny?” The 17-year-old high school students knows how to use her positivity to turn those first introductions -- when conversation doesn’t come as easily -- particularly easy. In our interview, she broke the ice when, laughing, she “bragged” that she had fallen off her bike the previous day, even offering to show me the bruise.

Mila approaches many of her adventures with similar ease. Though she hasn’t entirely decided which subjects she will take at UWC Mahindra in India, she listed several paths towards a career she might like. “The weirdest scenario includes chemistry and biology, so I can become a zoologist, because I like animals… There was a scenario where I become a computer scientist, but I was reminded I’m not very good at math.” Mila spent three years at “Vasil Antevski - Dren,” so it’s also possible that she continues to study social sciences and pursue an interest in law. I asked her how she plans to decide. She said, “I tell myself that I’ll see what each day tells me. And every day, it’s the same -- the day tells me absolutely nothing. I don’t know what I was expecting.”

Her positivity is especially helpful when she needs to be dedicated towards a single goal. Mila, as a member of the Macedonian national volleyball team, tirelessly trains to improve. Trainings -- before they were halted because of the virus -- happened every day, and Mila had to learn to balance school and sports so she can maintain the high level of play. But she’s also involved in non-governmental organizations: with another UWC student, she moderated a discussion about theater at the recent Equalis-fest.

India’s borders are still closed and, while she’s waiting to hear from the embassy, Mila is finding ways to fill up her free time. She just finished “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov, and just began “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari. She had read negative reviews for the latter book, but still decided to give it a chance (“I’ve always been good-hearted,” she joked). When allowed, she tries to continue volleyball practice, and when not, she watches movies. Mila mentioned that she’s interested in psychological thrillers that leave her mind-blown for days afterwards.

Her positivity, which was obvious throughout our conversation, helps her get through the uncertainty about her arrival to India. She told me herself: “I used to get worried and anxious about India, about which subjects I’ll take -- but then I told myself, ‘Mila, wait. You’re going to India to study for months at a time. Why not relax a little now?’”



July 21, 2020