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 :)


  1. That was awesome... I practically started crying again. <3

  2. Congrats! I'm in the Netherlands this year but I'm looking forward to reading about your experience in Turkey. One of my best friends here in NL is Turkish, we promised each other we'd visit the other in our home countries, it'll be fun to see how your take is on the culture :D

    Have fun! I'm excited for you!