Bravery, Kindness, Resilience

Bravery, kindness, and resilience are key qualities to have, especially during a gap year. To have the courage to go to a new place, with new people, is what allows one to have unique, forming experiences. Of course, it can be nerve-wracking, but I was always excited as to what will come next. I’ve become more optimistic and positive because I never really knew exactly what I was going to gain or learn from any individual experience, I just hoped for the best.
Kindness is what makes people feel welcome and comfortable in a new, busy environment. Just taking small moments out of each day to do or say something nice to someone else makes a big difference. I’ve learned the importance of kindness throughout my gap year, specifically on a two-week cultural exchange trip to Rwanda. From my experience, I noticed that Rwandan culture is communal and everyone is so kind to everyone, even strangers. They ask “how are you,” but truly mean it and listen for a genuine answer. I’ve brought that back with me and try not just to be polite in asking people how they are or periodically checking in, but really meaning it.
Resilience helps one make their gap year the best that it can be. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and things change. I’ve learned that if I can’t control the situation, I can at least control the way I react and turn everything into something positive. I look forward to the second semester of my gap year where I will be able to explore the world and myself further.

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