Orienting Myself to Orientation

This week is nothing like I expected.

I told one of my mentors before I arrived at Global Citizen Year’s Program Launch that I was least excited about this first week. I hate orientations: the hyperactivity, anxious kindness, the leech of fresh and desperate “friendships”.

Disgusting, right? Yeah, I’m not with it. I wanted to zoom through this week to land in Ecuador with the people I’d be spending the year with, not random others who I won’t see until April.

But somehow, this has been a more fun and spiritual experience. Today is my third day on Stanford’s campus, where I am swiftly becoming acquainted with my fellow Fellows. We have heard amazing global leaders such as Abby Falik – GCY’s CEO – speak to us about their journey in finding and living their own purpose in life.

I have been reminded of the importance of kindness and to embrace vulnerability. To always look for a place and a person that challenges what is uniquely human about me. I have been instructed to find the important questions in life. To ask myself, what would I do if I weren’t afraid? I have been advised to let go! In my case, of my judgements. Because like monkey bars, you have to release to move forward.

I have been reminded to embrace vulnerability and to embrace failure. I have been inspired.

The goal of this week is to become connected with the Global Citizen Year community. This week is a time to build relationships with those within and without our country cohorts.

I am not friends with everyone and I will not be. I wouldn’t call this year’s Fellows my family either. But I appreciate the shared experiences and emotions we have and will have. I appreciate the community we are creating within this week.

This week, we will also be participating in F(Un)-Olympics, field trips to organizations such as GoogleX and Facebook, and Global Jiu Jitsu with Joel Segre. The purpose of these activities isn’t just to make us more informed citizens and comfortable with each other, but more informed of and comfortable with ourselves.

This week is focused on self awareness, self care, and on cultivating the soul. Moving into a new global community and country is not only a physical or mental experience, but a spiritual one. I am going on a challenging journey and I need all the preparation and support I can get. Program Launch gives me that, and I am grateful for it.