Self Doubt in Senegal

Manuel Quesada Nylen - Senegal


February 11, 2019

I used to say lightly I don’t want this trip to end because I genuinely
felt it, I’m having fun and I’m learning and it’s all unknown out here so I
can constantly explore and figure out new things about my environment and
in turn about myself. Now though, I say it a lot heavily that I don’t want
this trip to end. People are already asking me what I’ve got planned for
when I’m back. I expected this and told myself a while ago that I’d be fine
with saying “I have a plan” or “I’m figuring it out” but it’s another thing
to actually have to say this stuff. All around me right now are my friends
in the cohort getting into their colleges and celebrating and I’ll
celebrate with them because I’m happy for them but any kind of conversation
always makes me look at myself. What *am* I doing? I don’t want school to
be the catalyst for my purpose. It definitely won’t be it this fall, so if
I go it’ll be next fall, but even that’s such a short time from now. How
can I make sure I’ll have enough bread for it by then? Is that even what I
want, or am I folding from the societal pressure to just enlist in college
and forget about making a miracle story happen without a college degree?
And then when I think about that I think, “well are schools even going to
want me? Look at this chump who had a great high school resume and okay
grades and oh hey he took a gap year in Senegal that’s cool but then he
didn’t go to school afterwards? Why should we let him come here?” Going
back means back to responsibility. I know time is of the essence. I’m young
yes but I’m not gonna be young for much longer. I don’t want my youth being
spent in agony and identity issues. I’ve already had my fair share of
those. Anything I’ve had has been okay while I’m in this context, because
life is simple here in Senegal. Going back home means complicating things.

Manuel Quesada Nylen