I’ve never been good at meeting new people and making new friends. I don’t like putting myself out there and being vulnerable, especially in large groups. I tend to be shy, quiet, and avoid confrontation. However, the program made me adjust and forced me to grow as a person. I was given no choice but to be personable and try to get to know everyone, which I’m very glad I did because I’m building bonds with all 23 of the other participants. This was my first time taking a flight by myself which was a bit nerve racking. Thankfully two other participants, Naomi and Donovan, were on my international flight and we moved seats to sit next to each other and proceeded to talk the entire four hour flight. Heading into the program with two people I was already familiar with was definitely a huge help with getting adjusted and now I’m good friends with both of them. Mia and I are next door neighbors and bonded over the fact that we get nervous in front of new people and ever since the first day we have been friends. Just talking with her about her daily life is so interesting to me because it’s crazy how our lives are so different even though we both live on the east coast and are juniors in high school.
Dinner time is when everyone gets together and catches up with each other. It’s probably my favorite time of day because I get to meet with everybody and learn more and more about them. After dinner we usually go to the rec room and watch scary movies and just hang out. Although I’m not a big fan of scary movies I really enjoy just getting to hangout with everybody even though the movies left me frightened to death. We have gone into the river and gone swimming multiple times now and we all just have fun going on small adventures together. Being in the middle of the Cloud Forest with everybody exploring, seeing creatures, and overall just hanging out I feel has brought me closer to the other students.