I spent the first half of my senior year basically living in my college adviser's office (bless you Sara Hogue) she was incredibly patient with me and consistently guided me through the tedious process of college application, For a first generation college student applicant, whom was also struggling with intense anxiety and depression, the help from her was priceless to me. The year went on and I submitted only one application, to a university that was the second to last on my list of preferences, but they were the only ones in state that offered my preferred major. I hoped the campus would grow on me and I would learn to love it.
When I received my acceptance letter I cried.
I was so incredibly relieved I would be doing something the following year and not completely having no direction.
But then the registration packet came in the mail and the money and student loans and the debts and the packing and the leaving and the hard college classes.
No thanks. Not ready.
It just didn't feel right.
I had previously considered a gap year but all of the ones I had found were essentially 2 month vacations costing as much as a year at a four year university. I considered not participating in any program and just working, but I really desired to make myself an asset to the community and make sure that I was being productive.
After continuous research, I finally simply googled "gap year programs" I think the third link down was Global Citizen Year. When I found it, I spent the rest of the night just engulfing myself in the website reading every single word. I was amazed by the opportunity being offered. I needed to to be apart of this.
I started to work on my application, ecstatic, my heart set on going to Ecuador, to work with environmental conservation, my soul poured into the essays and video. Then I began to get in my own way.
I started to be doubtful and thought I should maybe just take the safe route, go to a college I didn't want to go to, take classes that I was afraid to would fail, and not risk being denied.
I finished my application within a week, but I was nervous, I didn't submit it until May 10th, the very final deadline. I didn't want to mess this up. Rejection is hard.
Quickly I was scheduled for an interview, then I was speaking with the health director, and suddenly, I was filling out the final paper work. I of course made sure to express how much I thought I would thrive in Ecuador…but GCY knew better.
Right before I clicked submit for the final documents, a thought popped into my head "You're going to India".
When I received the acceptance email, I cried.
Through some sort of "mind reading" I knew where I was going. And now here we are, on Sunday I will be meeting my India Cohort and could not be happier. India is where I'm supposed to be for the next year. Not Ecuador, not University, but India. Awaiting me is a beautiful culture, a loving host family, amazing mentors, and new friends.
And I could not be more sure of myself.
Here is my application video, I hope it helps explain why I'm doing what I'm doing:)