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Gabriela Young AC'19 :: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pi's, Entry 2

Hi everyone! My name is Gabriela (Gabi) Young, and I am a rising senior in AC 19. Outside of ADPi, I am the VP of Networking for The Women’s Network and the Assistant Director of Organizational Outreach for Student Government Productions. Some of my passions are traveling, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family. My love for traveling has led me to this once in a lifetime opportunity of studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, but it was not always a simple decision for me.

From my senior year of high school, once I discovered the idea of studying abroad, I knew I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity in college. When I joined ADPi, I remembered observing several upperclassmen studying abroad, which piqued my curiosity even more. I selected Spain since my mother's ancestors were born there, and it has always been vital to me to explore my heritage. Fast forward to my junior year of college, and I am finally deciding to choose whether or not to study abroad. Rather than being thrilled, I was extremely nervous.No one that I knew was participating in this program; it was over two months long; I had never traveled to Europe; I do not speak Spanish very well; and I would be abandoning my hometown, family, friends, and boyfriend. Because of all of these factors, I began to have serious reservations regarding attending, however after talking to all of my close friends in ADPi and my friends from home, I felt encouraged and reminded of how this has been a dream of mine for years.

I can now state with certainty that leaving my comfort zone to study overseas in a foreign country was one of the greatest decisions of my life. I've gained fabulous new friendships, obtained independence, learnt about so many diverse cultures, regained a lot of my Spanish speaking abilities, and traveled to over 20 cities in Europe since relocating to Madrid. Throughout my summer in Europe, I felt tremendously lucky, and I am so grateful that I followed my plan and pursued my ambition of studying abroad. So, if you ever have doubts or fear about doing anything beyond your comfort zone but you know can help you grow, simply take that leap of faith!

"When you let go of your fear and push yourself outside of the norm, really beautiful things can happen," a quote that spoke to me, and I hope it has spoken to you as well.

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