If I had to pinpoint one quality about myself that stands out, it would be my relentless desire to control every aspect of my life. I like to be structured and to plan every little detail. However, I did not anticipate that my future would change entirely when I came across John Cabot University.
As a kid, I thought I would always stay in my home country; I thought would live near my family forever and that I would attend a local university 13 kilometers from my family’s house. Yes, I truly thought that was “the plan,” yet here I am, finishing up my senior year, preparing to move to an entirely new continent. I find myself mentally preparing for my attendance at a university that is 10,000 kilometers from home rather than 13.
Even though I never pictured myself living in any other city than Quito, I have to admit that I always felt curious to see what was beyond the volcano that surrounds my city and that watched me grow up. As my senior year approached, I realized that I didn’t really have a clear idea of where I wanted to study. I was suddenly bombarded with a worrying amount of information about different universities, tuition options, internship opportunities, and extracurricular activities. I attended almost every university presentation available at my school, but I still didn’t feel that I clicked with any of them until I went to a presentation by a JCU admissions counselor. I had vaguely heard of John Cabot University during my junior year of high school, but when I’d found out that it is located in Rome, I had immediately discarded the idea. I never thought of Europe as a destination to pursue my Bachelor’s degree; at that time, it seemed so far away that the mere idea of living in a country that is oceans away from everything I know was terrifying.
After listening to the JCU presentation, I was able to do something that I hadn’t been able t do with any other university until that moment: I was able to picture myself there. I was fascinated with their International Affairs program, the clubs and activities offered, and the international community. If I were to move 10,000 km away from my home, I needed to go to a place that could provide me with the security and comfort that I was leaving behind, and I began to see JCU as the place that could give me just that. I decided to apply only to John Cabot. It was a risky decision, but it seemed to be the only place for me.
Looking back now, I can see how scary it was to, in one moment, decide a completely different future for myself than the one I had originally planned. For me, my application to John Cabot University was a way of breaking my sense of structure and control, deviating from my plans. It was a way to understand that opening yourself to the unexpected isn’t a bad thing at all. When my acceptance letter arrived, I realized that this was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to explore and enjoy the unknown.
As my high school chapter is coming to an end, my newfound dream of living in the hub of Western civilization comes closer with each passing day. The idea of studying so far away is definitely scary; however, knowing that such a culturally diverse community is waiting for me truly proves that this is an opportunity I could never miss out on. Today, I can picture my future in Rome, and I can’t wait until the day that I join the JCU community!
Class of 2022
International Affairs Major
Hometown: Quito, Ecuador