Hi there. My name is Kudzanai Nyikayaramba and I’m a 20-year-old from Zimbabwe. I don’t want to bore you with too much about myself, as you will get to know me more throughout the year as you get a front-row seat to my experiences as an International Discover Year student.

Earlier this year, I wondered what my next step in life would be. I had given my all in my final exams and I felt like I relished a new challenge out of the classroom setting. One day, I came across a Ted Talk by Jay Gosselin that caught my attention. I resonated with a lot of facts that were mentioned, and my fascination grew deeper when I visited the Discover Year website. I was hesitant to apply to Discover Year at first because I feared the challenge, but I managed to do it and, fortunately, I was accepted.

I chose Discover Year for a number of reasons. First of all, the program is well structured and it will help me have a purposeful gap year through the work terms. It will also help me build a network that will be useful not only this year, but in the future as well. I also believe Discover Year will help me grow as a person and gain a sense of independence via the different and unique experiences it offers.

As I officially kick-start my Discover Year journey, I am filled with many emotions. Excitement and curiosity are probably at top of the list because this is a new beginning that will offer new challenges and opportunities. As I'm sure you can appreciate, there is a fear that comes with stepping outside your comfort zone. However, if something seems scary — like taking a gap year — I believe it’s worth trying, because it means you will learn something new and push yourself to accomplish new things. Conquering that fear breaks all possible limits.

Coming from a culture that does not exactly believe in gap years, I hope my experience with Discover Year will inspire others to go against the norm and ignite their potential.