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 :)