Heading out, not moving in

Today, rather than unpacking in my dorm, I am packing for my
year in Ecuador. Tomorrow is not my first day of class, but the day I leave for
Fall Training in California, and the start of my Global Citizen Year. After
helping my friends move in to college, I initially felt left out, like I should
be moving in also, but as I get ready to depart, I know it was the best

One of the hardest choices in my
life was picking a college. I am still a kid, yet
after four short years at school, I will have to work in the real world to
support myself. College is a huge
investment, both in terms of time and finances, and I want to make sure that my
four years are focused and goal oriented.When
I tell people about my bridge year, they often question my motives, but what many
rarely understand is that the decision was one of easiest and most natural
conclusions I made during the entire college process. Though it was a
spontaneous last minute choice, I knew it was the best for me, as the year will
serve as a buffer, and a window into what independent
life is, while also giving me the capabilities to function on my own.

Living in Ecuador will give me the
opportunity to thrive through a more experiential form of study. I will not be
attending football games, but playing local fútbol. I will not be going to frat
parties, but partaking in celebrations like New Years, Día de los Muertos, and
Carnival. Classes will not make up my curriculum, yet I will be learning
invaluable lessons every day, so I can come back
ready to take advantage of the many opportunities of a college education.