The Beginning

My name is Abbie Clavin, and I have just graduated from The Governor’s Academy, the oldest and one of the most traditional boarding schools in the country. This being said, deciding to take a bridge year was not exactly easy. While all my friends and classmates were filling out roommate forms and picking their classes, I was researching my new home country: Ecuador. My decision was one that was off the beaten path and down a road that is completely unfamiliar to me and everyone I know. This is the first big decision I have made on my own, and one that I have not regretted.

I have always known where I wanted to go to college. Ever since I was little I dreamed of my first day of freshman year, heading to the football games and meeting new friends. Although I stayed open-minded, the college process bored me. So, instead of checking out future schools like my classmates, I began to research other types of programs. After taking a trip to Guatemala sophomore year, I wanted to extend my service and travels. I looked at schools in Africa, service trips and any programs I could find. When I came across Global Citizen Year, something felt right and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It made taking a bridge year make sense and helped me find my own reasons for embarking on such a journey.

I have never really veered from the “norm” before; I’ve always just done things like everyone else, until now. I know this year will not be easy for me. I have never been forced to speak another language or even lived in another country. But, I have confidence in myself. I believe in doing something different and I believe I will learn more about myself and life in this year than I will in any other year I am living. I am grateful for this opportunity and am excited to begin this life-changing experience.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”