An Unlikely Thank You

Danielle Livneh - Ecuador

August 13, 2012

I never thought I’d see the day where I was grateful for being rejected from my top school. Six months ago if you had told me that I would eventually feel this way, I probably would have said you were crazy with that impressive cynicism only we teenagers are capable of. But here I stand, ready to embark on this nine month journey, truly thankful for that fateful rejection letter.

It is easy to talk about taking a gap year; it’s another thing to actually commit to it. So although I discussed taking a year off throughout high school, I’m not sure I would be here with Global Citizen Year had I been accepted back in December to my top school. The stress and excitement of the application process had consumed me, and I couldn’t imagine wavering from the path to college on which I was running full speed ahead. Being rejected halted me in my tracks, and allowed me to reevaluate the direction I was going. What I ultimately realized was I wasn’t ready for college. Tina Fey wrote in her memoir Bossy Pants that the most important rule of improv is to take risks. As an improv-er myself, I live by this idea. I see in Global Citizen Year a chance to prove my audacity. I want to experience something new and uncomfortable because I recognize that I thrive when I take risks. I want to harness the momentum I have right now in my life and apply it to something exciting and important. After twelve years of traditional schooling, I am eager to take what I’ve learned and apply it in a meaningful way. I am ready to break from analytically based education and dive into empiricism. With Global Citizen Year I will challenge my idealism and test the valor of my determination. College can wait.

Danielle Livneh