Jessica, outbound to Brazil
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March 27th 2017
Writing about my ‘jump’ as an RYE student:
When I was a young girl I was fearless… I remember how scared my parents would get with all of the risk taking and crazy things I would want to do for a young little girl. I always used to ask the questions that people were too scared to ask and always wanted to feel that rush of danger and excitement... I guess it came from having two police officers as parents that risked their lives every day and two older sisters that always used to tease me that taught me to live strong, fearless and always try new things.
For the couple of months that led up to my exchange I really thought nothing of it. For me it was just another normal little trip. I ended up packing two days before I left and even left my room a mess because I didn’t really comprehend of what was happening because I just loved the thrill of traveling. I think that I was more excited to go to the airport than I was to start this new life of mine. The moment that I was comprehending what was happening was when I woke up from a nap on the plane and looked down to see Brazil beneath me. In that moment I understood what I was doing and my fear of this unknown world than excited me even more so I decided to spend the next thirty minutes trying to start learning Portuguese because I never really gave a good effort to learn before. (*Biggest mistake of exchange... I should have listened to you Ned Barry*)
This exhilarating fear gave me a flashback of a time in my childhood when I was about seven years old and my mom signed me up for swimming classes. Like always I would go out of my way to prove that if I tried I could do anything by pushing myself to stay underwater holding my breath the longest and even concurring my fear of heights by jumping off the diving board. At that time I think my mom was more scared than I was, so I can only imagine what she is thinking now that I am eighteen years old and more risky. While most of the other kids my age were jumping off the low dive, I decided to go off the high dive because what frightened me actually excited me. It wasn’t until I jumped off that I freaked out, lost sight of what I needed to do, ended up doing a belly flop and made a fool of myself.
It took until going on exchange to realize that in that day I learned if you don’t dedicate your whole heart to what you are doing that you will lose track and just end up doing a belly flop while other people laugh at your misery.
In time I ended up going back and jumping off the high dive without fear or doing a belly flop. After over six months of exchange this experience as a kid reminds me of my exchange experience because I have learned to give my whole heart to what I am doing, live without fear of the unknown, always ask questions and keep sight of my mission as an RYE exchange student knowing that there are people out there waiting to watch me fail.
When I was a young girl I was fearless… and now I’m RYE fearless.
Posted on Tue, March 28, 2017
by Terri Wescott