During my senior year of high school I took a class by the name of “Senior Seminar” which became instrumental in my choice to take a year off before college. In the class, we read a host of works by famous western philosophers. Although they were all invaluable in their own right, perhaps the most influential for me was the Frenchmen Michel Foucault. Though he writes about a variety of other topics, Foucault dedicates a large majority of his efforts towards explaining the inner workings of discursive thinking. Foucault, (at least, this is the way I interpret his theory) comes to the conclusion that we are all more or less prisoners to the discourse in which we live. We are shackled not so much by our own beliefs, as Foucault might argue that most of our personal creeds are in actuality, not original to our true being. He will argue that the way we think, the things we do, and how we live our lives is, for the most part, dictated by greater agents of power that shape our existence, hence our discourse.
With these ideas in mind, I soon began to feel a strange sense of obligation to step outside of my discursive way of life. I felt that a change in perspective was of vital importance if I were ever going to be able to understand the world I live in. When I discovered Global Citizen Year, I almost immediately realized that the program was a perfect avenue for me to satisfy my yearning to take a step back and see my life through a new lens. I cannot tell you what I am expecting out of my time in Ecuador. I cannot promise a spiritual revolution, or a eureka moment. I can only hope that I will experience things that are both unknown to me, and thought provoking all in one.