After growing up in Turkey and the competitive school environment it offers, Nil Sipal was ready to experience the many US education opportunities. Now a senior, Nil came to Wasatch Academy as a junior, and after a little culture shock of the small town, quickly fell in love with the dorm life, the educational approach, and found a sense of self-confidence.
As a student ambassador, Nil is always eager to show a new student the campus she now calls home. Nil is part of the Model United Nations team and enjoys psychology, math, and Photoshop. She shares her story:
“My name is Nil, I’m 18 and I’m from Turkey. Outside of class, I usually hang out with my friends, sleep, and watch TV shows. That’s basically my life. I also like having alone time and walking in the rain. I guess it’s because I’m Turkish, the way I think is different and more mature than a lot of other people and that’s what sets me apart.
Comparing school life in the US and in Turkey, I definitely like it here better because in Turkey, the school went until 9 pm and is extremely competitive. I barely had time for myself. In Turkey, you need to take an exam to get into high school. You used to pick four schools that you like (not a lot of options) and now, you have to pick 1 religious school out of the 4 schools. At the end of high school, you take a massive exam and you can only take it once. People get into fights over their score and rank in schools.
When I first got to Wasatch, it was a culture shock for me because the small town and the way I lived back home are so different. However, I quickly adjusted and found that I like Wasatch Academy dorm life. I made friends easier since we all live together. I like living in the US better but I miss my brother, family, and dogs.
Psychology, math, and Photoshop are probably my favorite subjects at school. I want to either major in psychology or business. I like math because I like the proving process when you solve a problem. I like photoshop just because I can be really creative with it. I would love to stay in the US or live in Europe because there are more job opportunities for me to expand my abilities. I want to either start my own business or do psychology.
One day I hope to travel to China and explore the Asian countries because their culture is close to mine and my great grand parent is from Japan. I think it would be interesting to see the country that he’s from.
I think the most important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter how other people think of you. Life is bigger than that, bigger than just high school. You don’t need to think about if you’re popular. You don’t need people to tell you what you are and what you should do. When you look at yourself, you know who you are and you will achieve whatever you want in life, and when you look back, you’re not going to think or care about who was popular in high school. When you are stressed about something you did, think about a year from now, will you care about what you did? You can’t undo what’s done but you can get over it and move on. Everyone has stuff that they want to forget, but there is always an opportunity to think about it in a more positive way.”