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Students in a long tail boat in Indonesia. Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Indonesia Semester.

Participant

Hello!

First thing to do on a year of scary things: post on social media without having any idea who’s reading it! My name is Emily, I’m from Connecticut, and right now I want an adventure more than anything, so I can’t wait to go on one with all of you! I’ve just graduated from a high school I loved dearly, have two half sisters who are 29 and 31, have two twin quarter sisters (yes, quarter sisters) who are 23, have a step mother and a step sister, two brothers in law, and two sweet little dogs. Also, I’m going to be an aunt in February! I am a lover of podcasts, books (I’ve just started The Stand by Stephen King which will be keeping me busy for a while), animals, and any movie/show/etc. that could be categorized as lighthearted lovable comedy. My current favorite bands/artists are Young the Giant, Born Cages, Eric Hutchinson, The Long Winters (my newest discovery), and I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was approximately 8 years old (and always will be). My mom gave me a camera for Christmas this year and have since been trying to learn enough and shoot enough to become an amateur photographer, but I’m still working on it.

My free time in high school was filled mostly with theater, choir, and voice lessons, along with lots of in-school activism and leadership, but already it feels like I’m very far away from that life. Still, though, I’m very excited to discover new arts and art forms in Indonesia (and probably do an ISP on one of them!) and see how they influence what I’ve already learned. To date, I think the scariest thing I’ve ever done is sing Climb Every Mountain in the Sound of Music this past fall, but I think that’s about to change!

(I’m not trying to sound super deep here but) I’ve lately been trying to live my life with two quotes in mind. The first, “There’s always an upside to the downside,” said during the Women’s March by Gloria Steinem, and the second, which came to me from our dear Sheryl Sandberg: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I think about these quotes a lot, especially when I was thinking about doing something as wild as a gap year, so maybe they’ll resonate with you too!

I’m worried about how much I’ll miss my two dogs, and whether my bag (her name is Henrietta) will be able to hold everything I want to take with me, and whether I’ll be able to learn enough of the language to fully engage with people, but more than all of that I can’t wait to leave my little suburb and see the world!

So excited to meet you all!

xx Emily