When I applied to this program I knew I would be branching far out from what my other friends will be doing this coming year in college. Of course, I was excited to think of all the real world skills I would gain that could never be learned in a classroom. Learning a language by making embarassing mistakes in front of those to whom it comes with the ease of breathing is so much better than repetition and memorization while sitting at a desk!
What I didn’t realize was that I was going to be learning real world skills long before I even discovered what country I was going to be assigned to, and I’ve come to believe this might be the hardest part: fundraising. It’s not that I think people don’t want to help, or that this isn’t a worthy cause (because they do! and it is!) but it’s just so daunting to have to put yourself out there doing something you’ve never even attempted before. To be professional, informative, clear, but not pushy– it’s such a delicate balance– and to do so when you’ve never asked anyone but mom and dad for a dime before in your life… what a skill to learn! It’s tough, but like I said, it’s really a blessing to be able to learn to do this so early in my life.
And by the way– I’m sure every time I am learning something new during this next year, I will dub it “the hardest part.” In fact, if everything goes right, the real “hardest part” will come when the program is over and I won’t want to leave!