8/23/17: How I Got Here

Phuong Nguyen - Ecuador


August 23, 2017

Yup. That’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got there. So for the purposes of this initial blog, let’s start in the beginning.

The beginning of senior year that is. It was October, I had just received my rejection from Quest Bridge as a Finalist (which was, at least then, life ending). So the plan was to get a new plan. I rolled over my Quest Bridge Application and applied to a couple more on Common App for safe keeping. Lucky for me, I was done with all my applications in November.

But the feelings of of self-pity and hopelessness lingered, driven by certain events that rhyme with “tailor” and “ejection” (failure and rejection), I ranted to my Summer Search mentor about the lottery and inequality that is the college application process. While I love school, I felt like I needed a different experience outside of institutionalized education systems.

And so what most adults would have interpreted as an “I don’t want to go to college” conversation became a beacon of hope for me as my mentor recommended Global Citizen Year.

At that time all I said to him was, “Yeah, ok, I’ll look into it.”

That was in mid-November of 2016. By June 4, 2017 (the day this picture was taken), I was a part of Emory CO’ 22 and GCY Ecuador Cohort CO’ 18. I was a College Point Scholar and a recipient of a many generous scholarships. That’s how I got there. I was on top of the world on my graduation day.


And now, I’m here. T-4 Days until Program Launch at Stanford University for my gap year to Ecuador. One seemingly fatal failure lead to a small suggestion that landed me my next 8 months. I am embarking on a journey to Ecuador this Sunday August 27, 2017. (Very frantic but excited!)

Special Thanks to Aparna, Ms. O’Connor, Armani, Natalya, and all those pictured. Thanks for letting me be a pain in your butts.

Phuong Nguyen