September 16, 2015


My journey to Newcastle began two years ago at a grad school fair in Washington DC.  At that time I had applied, was accepted, and had declined the Peace Corps twice. I was not shy to service as I had completed two years with AmeriCorps but I just wasn't ready to leave and honestly scared of the unknown.

Typical me scoped out all the international schools that were going to be at the fair and mapped out their locations at the Convention center to best optimize my time there. It was towards the end of the evening that I stumbled upon the Across the Pond table. I talked to one of their advisers for a long time and when I left I knew what I was going to do. When I got home that evening I immediately started my application with ATP. My adviser was so helpful in getting me through the process and giving me honest feedback that helped guide my school selections. Through his guidance I was accepted to three schools and ultimately picked Newcastle, however once again I put the decision to go away off. I had the chance to get a great promotion at work and I decided to defer school in favor of the promotion. I think at that time it was the right decision because I learned a great deal but ultimately I knew where I needed to end up.

This past year I had a very close friend lose her daughter to cancer and going through that process with her was extremely difficult but oddly provided the catalyst that I needed to finally move forward. Although deciding to go to grad school in a different country does not equate to battling cancer, it taught me that you cannot let your fear of the unknown dictate the life decisions you make. You just don't know what tomorrow will bring and furthermore life can be long and you don't want to live it regretting the things you did not do.This time around I am very much ready to get to Newcastle and start my year as a grad student abroad.

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