A dream come true
- Meggy Pyaneeandee, 2018 graduate, in the gardens at Sciences Po ©Sciences Po
Dear Sciences Po,
It was very important to me to express my gratitude for these last six years.
Six years ago, a panel of three people decided to make me a student at Sciences Po. Without knowing, these admission officers changed my life. Sciences Po was my first dream come true. I was admitted via the CEP (Convention Education Prioritaire) (fr.), which, as Richard Descoings had so well understood, was a necessity. A necessity because to study in a ZEP (Zone d'Education Prioritaire) is nothing less than a daily battle. Yet, a battle for education is one of the greatest battles, because it is what arms us for the rest of our lives. Our university has proved that to me over and over.
I grew up with a builder as a father and a mother who was illiterate upon arriving in France. Like many immigrants, they came to France hoping to live in better conditions. They left the sun of Mauritius to settle for a little Parisian studio. For 13 years, we lived in 10 square meters. My parents clung to the hope that this country they had chosen was one that would offer their children everything they had never had.
So, I could not begin to explain how much my acceptance into Sciences Po was a joy, an achievement and a source of pride for my parents. Everything they had worked for and all the sacrifices they had made became meaningful when they saw me enter through the doors of the 27 rue Saint-Guillaume. You offered me the life I always used to dream of. A life full of encounters, journeys, lessons, experiences, culture, and an opening out onto the world.
I arrived as a young stranger from the outskirts of Paris, ill at ease in my own skin and struggling to find my place in the world. At Sciences Po, I not only found that, but became aware of my capacity to change it. More than a university, Sciences Po became a home, sometimes a refuge. I grew up in here. I gained self-confidence, I met some of my best friends, many of whom I am sure will be by my side for the rest of my life. I got to live in New York thanks to Sciences Po’s financial aid system, which allowed me to work there without getting into debt. A second dream come true.
© Meggy Pyaneeandee
You allowed me to socialise with students from backgrounds completely different to my own. You allowed me to participate in the Miss France competition, representing in my own small way the minority group I come from. You gave me so much, without ever asking anything in return, and I don’t know how to thank you all.
I have countless reasons to be grateful for this life that you have offered me, which is ultimately nothing less than the basis for the rest of my existence.
Sciences Po is a unique university. Its teachers, its values, its history, its structure, its students, its diversity, its magic, make for an experience that is unique to every one of us. We are all so different and yet each of us finds our own place here. We are all so different, yet we manage to form a single and united body, that of a class of Sciences Pistes, proud to call ourselves this way.
I have had to interrupt the writing of this letter many times to dry my tears. It’s with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to you. I know that us French people love to grumble, but sometimes it is good and necessary to express one’s love and one’s gratitude.
French, Mauritian, Parisian, Outsider, Sciences Piste,
With love to you all and many thanks,
See you soon,