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Word Count: 1,239
Deliberately placing yourself outside of your comfort zone will do one of two things make you into a stronger better person or cause you to shutdown and not accomplish the task at hand While most high school juniors spend their year studying excelling in sports hanging out with friends and thinking about colleges I pushed my boundaries and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime No I did not go skydiving or join the US National Volleyball Team I accepted the challenge of the Congress Bundestag Scholarship program to spend a year in Germany living learning and experiencing life in another land The life skills and memories that I acquired in the past twelve months have put me a step ahead of my peers and shown me that if I put my mind to it anything is possible In October 2002 as I was sitting in my first year German class my teacher recommended that I apply for what she called the prestigious Congress Bundestag Scholarship to spend a year in Germany Taking into consideration that I would have to leave everything I had going for me behind made me a little leery of the idea However when I realized what an honor and opportunity it was to take part in an exchange the mounds of paperwork seemed to shrink into a small homework assignment with a twist After the final interview reality hit me I might actually spend a year in Germany Along with the excitement came the panic I cant actually speak German What should I pack How do I say goodbye to everyone What if I get homesick Do the Germans really only shower once a week These questions all came at once and no matter how much I searched the only answers I could find told me to wait and see Before I knew it I was boarding a 737 an route to Frankfurt with 60 of my new best friends
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