I see myself and my friends reflected in each of the 92 faces I greet over breakfast each morning: eager, excited, nervous, motivated; perhaps even a little naïve. They are smart, lucky, and courageous, all the things that I didn’t realize I was until completing my own Global Citizen Year. They are full of questions: not one moment is left untouched, never a pause in the conversation that doesn’t immediately become a litany of “what was the weirdest thing you ate?” or “what did you least expect?” or “what was the hardest part of your year abroad?” At first I began to give them my elevator speech: the ten-second generic version of my bridge year story that I tell people who ask out of politeness, not interest. But this wasn’t enough. They stared back, unsatisfied with empty phrases like “it was good!” or “I learned so much!” Slowly I began to realize that they are, in fact, truly interested; in me, in my real experience, in my own choices and apprehensions. They want the real answers. They are the true seekers of knowledge.
It excites me to wake up and begin the day anew, speaking with different Fellows, hearing where they come from and where they want to go. It inspires me that there are 92 young adults, some of whom have never been out of the United States or on a plane, who see themselves as part of a global community. It encourages me to forge my own path in college, to learn what I want to and not what I am required to. Most of all, it humbles me to realize that although I may have taken a Global Citizen Year, I still have so much to learn.
I can’t wait to follow the blogs, read the status updates, see the pictures, and relive my own bridge year vicariously through the eyes of 92 creative, intelligent, compassionate, motivated and AWESOME people.
Jamm ak Jamm, Jamm ak Salaam