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My Life So Far: Sebastian Riggs


Sebastian Riggs may be only a freshman, but he has the air of someone much older. It could be his close cropped hair and studded ears, or the fact that he’s taking physics as a freshman. Or maybe it’s because he’s seen more of the world than the average Wilson student.

Riggs was born in California but has travelled the globe with his military stepfather. Before arriving in the District, his family lived in Las Vegas, Waldorf, Maryland, Oman, and Uganda.

Wilson, he says, is different from the other schools he’s been to in terms of sheer size. The largest school he attended before Wilson had 800 students, fewer than half of Wilson’s current student body. But he’s no stranger to diversity in school–his school in Kampala boasted students from more than 40 nations.

For Riggs, making friends has been a faster process at Wilson than at some of his other schools. “It’s usually not as easy,” he says. He met one of his new friends, who lives on the military base soon after he arrived in DC.

Living internationally may pose some obstacles to making and keeping in touch with friends, but it has also provided Riggs with a wealth of interesting experiences. One of his fondest memories is when he got a scuba diving permit in Oman, where he was able to dive off the Coast of Oman. He also had the opportunity to go on a cruise around the Mediterranean while living in Africa–visiting Pisa, Rome, Venice, as well as landmarks in Croatia.

“It’s pretty cool to see the cultures of different countries,” Riggs says. He’s never stayed anywhere long enough to learn another language, but he immerses himself in the cultures of his host countries in other ways, including sampling the local cuisine. Of course, not all foreign food is created equal. In Uganda, he tried a traditional delicacy called matoke composed of mashed plantains. “I’m not gonna say it was good,” he says with a grin.

Riggs says it’s unlikely that he’ll stay in DC for the rest of high school, but he plans to spend his sophomore year at Wilson.


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