In the beginning of senior year, I knew I wanted I did not want to go straight to college. The thought of going straight into another four years of school haunted me. I had heard of people taking Gap years in between high school and college before. I had friends that took Gap years as well and accomplished some amazing things. I knew I wanted just that… but how in the world was I going to make it happen?
I began researching different countries and possible volunteering options within those countries. It started well and I had a lot of great ideas of what to do, but had no real way to accomplish them. Throughout senior year I took no real action on my plans and kept thinking everything would fall into place. In April, my parents went over my plans for my Gap year with me. After looking at all the financial costs, living situations, volunteer opportunities and more, we all came to the conclusion that my Gap year I had been planning since September would not work out. For the next month, I focused all my attention on college plans and nearly forgot about a Gap year.
On May 9th, I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across an advertisement for a Gap year program for high school graduates called Global Citizen Year. I read the short description and noticed that it said, "Application Deadline May 10th!" I immediately went on my computer and filled out the application. The application also had an option where you could apply for a full scholarship. Since I would be paying for my entire Gap year tuition, I told myself that if the tuition was over $5000 I would not commit, but if it was under I would dedicate myself and take the Gap year.
About a month and a half later, some exciting news appeared in my email. I had been accepted and had received all the financial aid I needed to make the year possible! I was ecstatic! Global Citizen Year had four countries to choose from: India, Brazil, Ecuador and Senegal. Since I had traveled to India before and loved it, I chose India as the country I would be spending the next year in.
For the next seven and a half months, I will be in either Pune or Hyderabad teaching English in a developing community. I will be living with an Indian host family and making lifelong friendships. Being fully immersed in Indian culture, I hope to come back with more perspectives on the world, myself, and the profession I choose to go into. I hope to have an affect on the students I will be teaching, my community and friends I make. This entire opportunity would have never been possible if it was not for the support from my family, friends, and Global Citizen Year. So, here’s to the most interesting and best decision I have ever made!