Waking up early on Friday morning to go to orientation weekend was exciting and nerve racking. I was excited to jump into this amazing journey called the Global Gap Year. I have to admit that I was a little nervous to meet all of the other past and current fellows; however, once I met all of them my nerves were gone. I wanted these people to become my great friends, and I’m pretty sure they will be. I’m extremely excited to begin this new journey with these great people as a support system.
Meeting new people is always a bit challenging. Ice breakers were the way to go when meeting everyone for the first time. The fellows and gappers talked about their most interesting fact, along other interesting ice breakers thanks to Jasmine and Keegan. After the ice breakers I felt like I knew more about the people I would be spending my weekend with.
Next the gap year group went to Richard Harrill’s house. There we met many people that could help us form our gap year plans. We all had to stand in front of the group of people and tell our plans. Nerve racking! I’m glad everyone was so nice. Everyone was more than willing to share their plans and ideas. I could tell that this group was truly a support system that was willing to help in any way that they could.
For the weekend I was rooming with Lily Clarke. She was the sweetest girl. She made me feel right at home. It was nice talking to Lily about her own gap year and what my current plans are. She reinforced my thought that everyone in the fellowship was there to support each other. We are like a family.
Saturday was all about GO! Global Orientation answered a lot of my questions and even gave me some information that I did not think about. I learned that I am just a small piece to a much larger piece. I am not going to change the world by myself. I want my skills and talents to be used only when they need to be used. I will not force my help in a place that does not want/need the help.
Later that day we got to talk with the current fellows abroad through google hangout. It was nice to hear and see the people that were in the same place as me a year ago. Some of them were going through the same thing; they did not know for sure what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go. It was especially nice to talk to Brady Gilliam. He is currently in Peru teaching English. This was exactly what I wanted to do! It was interesting to hear his journey throughout his gap year. One thing I learned from the fellows was that plans can suddenly change and you need to become flexible about your current plans. It’s good to have a plan A, B and C!
Currently my plan A is that I will teach English in Peru, work for a family running their small business in Ireland, record the ancient histories of the elders in Nepal, and then finish in Bali, Indonesia doing turtle conservation.
By the last day of orientation I felt like I had made strong friendships. I was very sad to leave and begin my 5 hour car ride home. I was sincerely going to miss the people that I had never known a few days before. I did not want to go back to the reality of school. I wanted to stay at orientation and keep planning this amazing journey.