It’s an old cliché , but it holds true no matter what you are expecting. One of the first things we were told about this year was to not have expectations, to start our experience with a mind clear of preconceptions. I didn’t listen to well to those instructions, and thought about how different and non-american my life would be. I would read some blogs of past Fellows and they seemed to have it really differently, living in indigenous families or cultures. I assumed that I would have a life similar to them, one where I would be roughing it.
There are so many other things I could be doing now. I could be in college, working, or volunteering somewhere else, but I chose Global Citizen Year because I wanted that eye-opening experience of living a completely different life. I thought that I would be taking bucket showers, or bathing in a river. I left the US, and ran smack into American culture here.
I live in the city, in an apartment, with hot showers and a comfortable bed. My sister hangs out with her friends on the weekends, and essentially lives a more typical “American teenager” kind of life than I did. School, boys, make-up, shoes, clothes. That’s what we talk about.
I walked into this year with the expectations that I would be living a completely different life and yet I am, just not the sort of different I was thinking of. It’s still up to me to take this experience and learn from it, though lesson number one is to expect the unexpected.