The Next Step

Tyler Rivera


July 10, 2014

“Where are you going to school?”
“What are you majoring in?”
“Where are you staying?”

The sounds of senior year.

While many of my classmates had answers to these questions, I didn’t. The only answers I was able to offer was simply, “I don’t know”. And that was the truth. I didn’t know. Until recently I didn’t even know if I want to go to school, let alone what I want to study. Admittedly I was envious. Envious of my friends, classmates, and other soon to be college freshmen who seemed to be sure of where they want to go, what they want to study, and what they want to do. I wish I had it all planned out like them. I did know one thing though, I wasn’t ready for college. College is just more of the same and that just isn’t what I want right now. I want something new. Challenging. Unique.

That is why I’m taking a bridge year. Not only is it something new, challenging, and unique, but it is something that when first applying I honestly doubted I could do, from being away from everything I know, everyone I love, and anything familiar for eight months, to not knowing how often you can communicate with your family and friends, it’s all a challenge. But not only will it pay off while I’m in Brazil, but it is something that will have a lasting effect on me throughout college and the rest of my life. And while I still may not know what I want to study, I know that whatever it is I will have a unique perspective on life and the world that many people do not have.

Here is a quote that I’ve thought a lot about lately: “When is the last time you did something for the first time?”

While everyone may take away something different from this quote, I take away this: Experience life and the world and all that it has to offer and don’t let your fears inhibit you from doing so. That is exactly what this year is for me. Letting go of restraints and fears in order experience a new language, new people and a new culture. While this entry is filled with a lot of things I don’t know, here’s another that I do: I’m ready for the next step, an eye opening experience that will forever change my outlook on life and the world.

Tyler Rivera