Hushing the SHOULD’s

“Only 1% of human beings are able to attend college—any
college—even the worst one in the remotest area of the world”(

This statistic haunted me from the very beginning of the college process
because I knew college was not my next stop. But what was? I should go
to college. I should go for my childhood friends in rural Vietnam who
must leave school to support their family; I should go for my inner-city
immigrant friends who struggle in crowded, unequipped schools; I should
go for my family who hope to see their first generation of college
students; I should go for those who invested in my $200,000 dollar prep
school education; I should go for all the luck that expanded my life
choices from a narrow road to a world of opportunities. Yet, something
else was calling for me: a different educational journey. This upcoming
year in Ecuador will be the start of my higher education. I will join
the growing movement to prove that in an increasingly global world,
college does not have to be the only option for inquisitive, ambitious
high school graduates. In this world, even students from low-income
families can pursue higher education, whether in the classroom or on
their gap year. So, thank you, all my beloved friends, mentors, and
supporters, for joining me as I meander the bustling cities and trek
through the rich, diverse forests and jungles.