Friday, April 27, 2012


That's right!  The title says it all!  After a grueling wait and a roller coaster ride of emotions, I finally received the email that changed my life.

On April 13, the finalists emails were sent out on a rolling basis.  As soon as the first country was released (Bosnia & Herzegovina) my phone alerted me.  That means from around, oh, 9 am or so, I was practically hyperventilating.

Nothing came for me that day.  I was crushed.  I knew I had either been rejected or was an alternate.  I was incredibly happy for my friends, but as the flood of notifications from Facebook poured onto my newsfeed, I couldn't bear to look for the weekend.  I congratulated everyone, and logged off of Facebook for the weekend.  By the time Sunday rolled around, I was back to my normal spastic self.  I checked my email constantly, waiting for an email to come.

Finally, the next day, it did.  I walked into math class, checked my email, and immediately started jumping up and down yelling, "I'M AN ALTERNATE!!!".  Then I proceeded to cry a bit.

I waited.  Another alternate was upgraded to Thailand.  She dropped it.  I waited some more.  The Facebook Five (or SHOCK, as we call ourselves) conversed constantly, shooting furtive texts late at night, wondering about our status.  Finally, April 26 rolled around.  I was sitting in the green room, casually talking about prom with some of my buddies.  I checked my email.  I immediately let out a huge huff of air like someone had punched me in the stomach.  "Oh my god.  Oh my god.  Oh my god."  I repeated over and over again.  After many worried questions from my friends, I burst into tears and blubbered out, "I'M GOING TO TURKEY!!!!  I GOT THE SCHOLARSHIP!!!!" I burst into the counseling office and told my counselor, where more hugs and tears ensued.  I ended up calling my friend Colin in the middle of one of his classes and left a voicemail.  Carly called me soon after, and we let out girlish squeals of delight (as girly as I can be, I have the vocal cords of a man) and I gave her a quick good luck wish.  An hour or so later, she called again (also crying) that she had gotten into Thailand!

I still can't believe it.  I am a 2012-2013 YES Abroad scholar to Turkey.  I started my application in November.  It is now almost May.  It has been an excruciatingly long process, but one I wouldn't trade for the world.  Already, I have met lifelong friends, and have learned so much.  In a few months, I will be living in Turkey.  I will have friends in multiple countries (YES, CBYX, and NSLI-Y scholarship winners).  And I will be immersed in a religion that very few Americans understand.  Next year, SHOCK will go abroad.  Indonesia.  Bosnia & Herzegovina.  Malaysia.  Turkey.  Thailand.  I wish you all the best of luck.  We have been friends from the start, and I can't wait to see what the next year of our lives brings.


I couldn't leave you without a song from my host country now, could I?  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oh...hi there!

I HAVE A BLOG?!  Whoops.  Sorry everyone.

These past few weeks have been kind of hectic.  I had spring break and started school again.

Well, it's been over two weeks since the YES Abroad In-Person Selection Event.  I have never been surrounded by so many mature and wonderful people.  I met new fantastic friends, and some that I hope to stay in touch with for the rest of my life.  The first day was general introductions, dinner, and learning our way around the hotel.  I had my interview the first night.  The second day was stuffed with lovely things such as group evaluations, more interviews, lots of amazing food, and socializing with the other semi-finalists.  The third day we had breakfast, some interviews and group evaluations (or lots of free time in my case), and too many sad goodbyes.  I didn't end up crying, but I certainly teared up watching a few of my buddies walk out the door and onto their shuttle, not knowing if I would see them again.  I suppose I won't give too many details, it is incredibly hard to describe the weekend.  Even two weeks later, I miss the camaraderie of it all, and the excitement in the air.  I miss my friends that came from every corner of the country.  Indiana.  Idaho.  California.  New York.  Oregon.    I dearly hope that I get to see everyone again, so I can tackle them to the floor in giant bear hugs.  Not to mention the fact that we would all be going abroad if we saw each other in the same room again.  It was a weekend I will never forget.

Now I am floating along in another wait.  We are supposed to find out mid-April, or around three weeks from the date of the IPSE.  I JUST WANT TO KNOW! O_O  I want this so badly...but everyone there was incredibly deserving as well.  I guess I'll just have to see how it pans out, but I will admit to hoping upon hope every day that I get in.

Anyway, enough of my ranting.  Did you miss my wonderful postings filled with mostly ramblings and large amounts of music?  I think yes.

These are just a few of all the pictures that I took that weekend.  Look at my previous post for a video that I made with all of my pictures!  

On a side note, my hair is now RED!  I think I prefer pink, but I figured I might as well try it :)

Well, that is all I have to say today.  I hope you have a wonderful day!