As the fall semester begins, University of Waterloo second-year Kalil Magtoto and Michael Waitze sit down to reflect on what it means to move high schools, study in the IB program, and define yourself…
Moving to NIST International School in 2015, “I came in with all that huff-and-puff pride.” Kalil suddenly joins a new community of talented future world-changers, learning more about himself in the process. He finds trouble with academics, and struggles between his dwindling passion for mathematics and growing interest in the arts. For a while, he felt like he was struggling alone.
However, change leads to adaptation. Kalil discusses how recognizing his family’s unspoken trust and empathy has allowed him to make better subject choices for himself. Despite others’ expectations and personal fears, Kalil wholeheartedly embraces his love for film and creative content.
Diversity and learning are also key themes in Kalil’s adolescent growth. His journey exposed him to differences in culture, in people, in notions of “smartness”. The two analyze the International Baccalaureate program, and how it challenges you to learn what you truly need to know.
Finally, Kalil describes how at UWaterloo, he meets brilliant people who think in fundamentally different ways. Broadened perspectives push him to embrace differences, meet new people, and continually refine his own viewpoints.