Hi, my name is Abby Lindsay, I’m from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and I am so incredibly excited to be on my way to Ecuador next year with Global Citizen Year! I think that the opportunity to take a year off after high school, before starting college, is one that everyone should seriously consider. Think about it: any student graduating from high school has spent the last 14 years of their life in school, studying in a classroom setting. That’s a whole lot of time where the learning has been directed and controlled by teachers, administrators, parents, and other authority figures. I ended my junior year of high school so completely burned out that I didn’t know how I had ever enjoyed school. It took me a while to realize that what I really enjoyed about school was the learning, not all of the textbook learning and AP style prep exams that had become so customary that year.
It was at this point that I started really considering taking a gap year. I started out with three goals: 1) to speak Spanish fluently by the end, 2) to help people in whatever capacity I could, and 3) to re-kindle my love of learning and innate curiosity. When I found Global Citizen Year, I discovered that if everything worked out the way I hoped, all of those goals could be achieved. Initially I was daunted by the idea of spending an entire year away from home and in such a different environment than I was used to. But then I realized that living in a country with a host family, working with a local organization, and speaking Spanish all day every day could be a wonderfully life-changing experience. I am going into this year with an open mind and a sense of curiosity. I can’t wait to get going.