Yesterday I was asked, “Why did you choose to take a bridge year with Global Citizen Year?” by the co-founder and president of Kiva, Primal Shah, while walking with him back to lunch. Panicked by this curve ball of a question, where Mr. Shah became the listener, and I the speaker, while I was in a flurry, thinking of tons of questions to ask him, I gave a very surface level response.
I spoke about how Global Citizen Year would help me gain experience for my future career. And yes, this is definitely true, but as I reflect now on why I have chosen to live in India for seven months as a Global Citizen Year Fellow and not attend college immediately after high school, it goes far deeper than wanting professional experience.
I’ve come to realize after these past few days of seminars is that this year is for me to grow, have mind-blowing experiences, create close relationships, and fail a ton and feel uncomfortable with it.
I can’t wait for the challenges and lessons that I am going to experience while teaching English. I know I can’t change all of the development issues that I see in India. Instead, I hope to make some sort of positive impression upon the Teach for India students and to learn from the beautiful relationships I form.
Even though I am not exactly sure what this adventure will entail, I am certain that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.
So Mr. Shah, in other words, I have chosen to jump off the beaten path of education and into the world to gain a new perspective of the world and of what role I can play in it.