Hello Everyone! My name is Aissatou, and I am more than thrilled to spend the upcoming eight months learning somewhere other than a boring classroom. To start, here are a few random facts about me: I enjoy sunbathing much more than the average person, I’m always listening to music, I buy the majority of my clothes from thrift stores, I can quote almost every line from the movie School of Rock, and for high school I attended St. Paul’s School, a boarding school where students are required to do horrible things like attend class at 8 on Saturday mornings.
For me, the decision to take a gap year was an easy one. My high school days were filled with an endless supply of work, and I spent the majority of my time stressing out and dreading the next inevitable essay assignment. My first break from this monotonous academic life came in the 11th grade when I spent the school year living with a host family in China through the program School Year Abroad. My time in China was an unbelievable adventure, and I learned an immeasurable amount about the world around me, and surprisingly also about myself. When I returned to the U.S. for my senior year I could not wait for the opportunity to escape from boring old America again, and it became clear to me that I was not quite energized to continue my vigorous academic life in college. Well, at least not without a trip to the real world first, and this is how Global Citizen Year and I came to be.
Now, here I am with less than 50 days until I embark on this amazing experience. I am ready to take my French skills further than my ability to conjugate verbs on a sheet. I am ready to not think about how I will retain my sanity through the harsh New England winter. I am ready to experience the world’s problems; not just read about them. I am ready to live in a place where people will not struggle to pronounce my name. I am ready for Senegal.