To bring last week to a close, I want to reflect on our learning outcomes and how successfully I “completed” them. The expected learning outcomes for the last week were:

  • Understand your current identity and the value in its malleability
  • Think about how your identity will change
  • Learn how you can control and communicate your identity
  • Understand how your identity influences your actions + decisions

The first week of the launch phase has been filled with challenges, adventures and new experiences. Through our discussions during the workshops, the reading material and my meaningful conversations with the other fellows, I feel as though I have gotten to know the others, and myself, a little better. Watching Julian Baggini’s TED talk ( was especially inspiring, because he gave me a new definition for the word “identity” – one which really resonated with my beliefs. When I was applying for the UnCollege Gap Year and was asked to describe what kind of person I was, I did not really know how to answer the question because it was difficult for me to summarize myself into a paragraph filled with definite, unambiguous statements. I realize now that I was attempting to say the same thing as Julian Baggini, just with my own words. I am very thankful to have listened to his TED talk, because it makes things much clearer for me.

All of the challenges that I have completed throughout the week have contributed to this entire process as well. I have made new and fascinating discoveries about myself (I like Mexican food!) and the world around me (There really are more crazy people on the street here). I will continue with the “identity” challenges whenever I get the chance, because they are a great way for me to put things into perspective and reflect on myself. What I was not able to accomplish this week was to communicate my identity effectively – I will make sure to address this issue by writing a new CV and sending emails to potential “employers” for my voyage phase.

I am really excited about this week and all the new experiences that will come my way!

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