Fun fact #1: I knew that I wanted to do a “gap year” before I even applied for college.
The best learning I had ever had was outside of the standard educational system. Summer internships and my semester school taught me more about myself and gave me a new lens to see the world. I didn’t want four years of what I used to call “high school on steroids”.
So here I am.
I’m excited. And I know I’m ready. But wait… there’s more.
Fun Fact #2: I’m scared.
I’ve been thinking. A lot.
I’m starting to understand how difficult it will be adjusting to my new home for the first few weeks, or months, that I’m there. It’s not a fear of the unknown, as some of my friends have identified my feelings to be, because I know what I’m getting myself into. And I know what I’ll miss.
I’ll miss being a train ride away from my friends and hugging them hello and goodbye. I’ll miss cuddling with my mom some nights as we fall asleep. I’ll miss winter and spring breaks, when my friends come home from college and spend quality time with each other.
It’s a fearful anticipation.
The kind of fear that comes with taking a risk.
Fun fact #3: I’m not afraid of this fear.
I crave any opportunity that places me outside of my comfort zone. If spending a year in Ecuador was going to be easy, I wouldn’t do it.
I will be challenged, emotionally more than anything, and that will make the experiences I have with my host family, mentors and fellow Fellows powerful and life changing. It will make the joy and love I’ll feel for and with them explosive and omnipresent. It will transform me into a more kind and mature global citizen.