Everyone has their niche. Whether it’s painting, reading, or music, there’s always something that a person loves to do or is good at. For me, it’s traveling.
In the 8th grade I went to Japan for ten days, and it changed my life. Before I went on that 10 day trip to Nishiwaki, I was timid and unsure of myself. When I came back I had transformed into someone who was aware of just how much the world has to offer. Since then it has been my goal to go on a longer trip, but I have only been able to get snippets of other cultures through a few smaller trips. At that time I thought I would travel for a year in college, but once I spent a semester at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership in Washington, DC I knew I wanted something more than a classroom to learn from; I had been pushed to think more deeply than I ever had before, which completely changed my way of thinking.
Ever since I was a kid my ultimate goal was to go to college, so up until my semester in DC I had been working blindly to get good grades; I never questioned what I was doing or learning. I came back from DC with a hazy picture of my future and skeptical of what the right path after high school actually was; my tunnel vision to college was abruptly redirected. That is when I decided to take a gap year, and Global Citizen Year gave me the right amount independence while still providing a support system for Fellows (participants in the program), so I decided to apply.
As the days wind down, and it gets closer to August 19th, I can feel my excitement growing. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be staying, or exactly what I’ll be doing. I’m more than willing, however, to push myself to the very edge of who I am and come out a stronger person. Those are my hopes for the time I spend in Senegal.