For as long as I can remember, I have always had a somewhat organized plan set in place. However, I gotta admit, I never saw this one coming. When I heard about the opportunity to travel to the beautiful, green country of Ireland, earn a free master’s degree, mentor to children, and play the sport I love, I could not pass the opportunity up. I mean if it wasn’t for this opportunity, I’d still be at home Netflix binging and trying to decide how I’m going to put that undergraduate degree to use anyways.
It has been two days since I have left the U.S. and it has been an emotional rollercoaster. Since I have arrived, I have felt nervous, excited, afraid, and anxious all throughout the day. We arrived around 5 a.m. and little did I know, I was not getting any of the sleep I had hoped to get on the plane any time soon. We were up and on our way to starting our SCL journey in Ireland. We met with more scholars and members of the SCL team at the Ulster university campus. Throughout the day, we learned a lot more about SCL and what it truly means to be a victory scholar. I was enlightened with the SCL team’s stories and the opportunities that we will have to impact the lives of children all over Ireland.
The turning point for me was our first encounter the Carnmoney girls soccer team. We got a chance to meet the team and get to know some of them outside of soccer. I met Lucy who has played soccer for eight years and plays left back defender. We had a funny conversation about driving in Ireland as she is working on getting her license very soon. I told her about how terrified I was on my first bus ride when the bus seemed as if it was going straight for a car but it was only just a normal left turn. Afterwards, we got to play some warm-up and team building games, where I found myself on the floor trying not to get tagged by one of the soccer girls. Then, we played a few basketball and soccer games. The girls were incredible at soccer. It was fun to watch some of the girls and their phenomenal foot work cross up and dash past us scholars. After that session with the team, I felt a sense of joy and that’s when I knew that this was going to be a great experience.
The fact that I would be in another country away from my family and friends never truly hit me until the first night laying in bed. I didn’t realize how big and bold this move was until I noticed that I can’t just pick up my phone and text/call my friends and fam at any time. But just as any new experience, it just takes time to get adjusted. I have met some cool scholars that have been going through the same feelings that I have; that makes me feel a lot better. I’ve even met some scholars that I have played against in my college career. At this point in my life, being bold is something I’m trying to be accustom to and more consistent with. Its only been two days and I definitely can tell, that this DJ will be a bolder DJ than he was when he left the states.