The Right Decision

Anh Tu Lu - Senegal


August 19, 2016

As I sit in the airport at 5 AM and await for my flight to San Francisco for pre-departure training, I still don’t know how to feel. My mom often told me that it’s okay to cry, and I have done so in the past couple of days, but right now it’s just a jumbled mess of emotions. While I’m super excited for what’s to come in Senegal, I’m also afraid to leave the comfort zone of my home and everything that comes with it: my parents, friends, food, air conditioning, no mosquitoes, and many other luxuries.
I constantly worry about whether I made the right decision or not – my parents detested the idea of delaying my education for a year, but for me, UCR just didn’t feel like the right fit for me. In addition, my trip to New York this summer helped me to see how much I wanted to do more with my life, to be able to go out on different adventures, and to get outside of the SoCal bubble that I have been living in most of my life. Now that I’m finally leaving for training and a week later to Senegal, though, I already feel really homesick, knowing that I’ll be ~10,055 miles away from home without knowing how much I will be able to contact them abroad. Hopefully pre-departure training will alleviate my worries and I will be fully ready for what’s to come.
 
Over these past few weeks, I have been able to connect with friends, teachers, and even family members across the seas, and I realized that I am incredibly lucky to have their support. I always take for granted the amazing support system that I have and didn’t truly appreciate the time and effort that they have put into me. Saying goodbye has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I can only wait to see them again in the future.
 
For now, as I prepare for training, all I can think of is this song: City and Colour – Comin’ Home (Official Video). I was introduced to City and Colour by one of my mentors, Carolina Sosa, and I just wanted to thank her for introducing me to Global Citizen Year and just being an inspirational person overall. 🙂

 

Anh Tu Lu