New York City to Hyderabad!

Brandon Richards - India


August 23, 2018

“It feels more and more real.”  

People have been asking me nearly everyday since I was accepted to Global Citizen Year, how I feel about going to India.  I never really knew the answer to that question.  As time went by from winter to spring to summer I would just tell everyone the same answer, “It feels more and more real.” Being a high school senior in the midst of college auditions, performances, and my final Public Policy paper, I didn’t know how to feel about leaving on August 26th to a country I have only ever dreamed about. I was excited, of course, but I didn’t know how to look that far ahead, how to picture myself within a new environment, with a new family, an apprenticeship, and a newfound independence.  I leave in 3 days and I still don’t know how to look that far ahead.

As time goes by “See you later!” becomes more difficult and time becomes more precious.  I look at the faces of the people I love and the places that I wouldn't be the same without. I’m so much more emotional than I’ve ever been.  These experiences in New York have shaped me but they’ve also been all I’ve ever known. Change is good, and change is inevitable but it’s also very hard.  I applied to Global Citizen Year knowing that it would be difficult and craving that. I don’t know how to be an adult or how to be without the safety nets I’ve always lived with. There’s no better time than now to let go and be challenged in a new environment.  Going into the Fall of my senior year I expected to audition for schools and hopefully end up majoring in acting or musical theater the following Fall. That journey has been delayed for a few months! I felt that jumping immediately from a performing arts high school to a performing arts college didn’t feel organic to me.  It just didn’t seem right. I desired time to explore myself as a human being before I went back to being an artist. I need to understand myself further and I’m not going to be able to do that without a challenge I’ve never experienced within an environment I’ve never experienced. I don't know what's to come, but I'm open, excited, and ready.


Brandon Richards