When I got back to Austin, Texas after living with an enormous host family (16 people!) in The Dominican Republic for 8 weeks, I realized I needed to make some changes in my life. “Don’t rush, don’t rush,” my host sister would whisper in my ear, “Be patient… It will happen when it happens.”
These words haunted me throughout my stay in The Dominican Republic and soon after I returned home. I found myself in the next years tangled in bouts of impatience from little things such as sitting in bumper to bumper traffic or waiting for a friend to meet me at a restaurant. The words “be patient” would ring in the back of my head and help me begin to understand the ebb and flow of life. Without stopping to enjoy what is right in front of me I would have never discovered my passion for languages, people and the environment. By stepping back and letting things happen on their own terms I decided that instead of heading to college right after I graduated I needed to take a little more time to stop and experience what the world has to offer.
I then made a decision to get out into the world and experience something that four walls of a classroom could never grant me. By choosing to live cross culturally for 8 months I and saying to myself—don’t rush. The new family I will have in Brazil and all the time I will have spent making mistakes and learning and sharing is invaluable. By taking some time to explore my passions and discover exactly what I would like to pursue in college I believe that I am embodying my host sister’s requests. Don’t rush through life, she would say. And I would reply with a deep breath, a smile and a ready to learn attitude.