Today is my last day in the States before I depart for Peru at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. All I can think about now is how excited I am to leave and how ready I am to meet my host family. It’s hard for me to sit here in Portland packing knowing just how soon I will be flying away and how profoundly my life is going to change as I grow during these next three months.
I realized while packing that many of you may not know exactly why I decided to take a bridge year before starting college. Simply put, I was ready for an adventure. I yearned to try new things, immerse myself in a different culture, and do public service work. Living in an unfamiliar culture would encourage me to be creative, independent, and innovative, to challenge my assumptions, and to challenge other's by turn. In the process I hope to discover new interests and talents. I am eager to apply my passions -- traveling, speaking Spanish, science and medicine, environmental work -- to a service project with real meaning, and in the process do something good for a local community and the world.
My bridge year would also give me the opportunity to take a breath before I dive head-first into the full-tilt excitement and fun of my freshman year at Dartmouth. Applying to college is a lengthy and daunting process. It’s a test of your character and your endurance. Yet the rewards are many. By putting yourself out there, you learn more about yourself and reaffirm the goodness within. So, while nerve-wracking, you ultimately light up with a smile as you choose your home for the next four years. Despite the positive outcome, I knew that after years of working hard in school, trying my best, both in class and extracurriculars, I needed a change, one that did not involve the structured world of academics. My service work in Peru allows just that. I believe I can achieve more and beyond anything imagined, if I embark first on this unique journey before starting college.
I’m signing out! Next you hear from me, my feet will be quite firmly planted in Peru!