Mackenzie Dooner - Bridge Year India
After traversing the country this summer in my family's rattling, yet well-loved Safari van, I've realized that I’m a full blown beach-cleaning, strawberry-munching, sunset-watching Californian. The trip gave me a fabulous taste of what makes up regional culture, and got me stoked to leave the States for the first time and spend nine months in India. I graduated from Carmel High School in June, where I ran track and cross country, played basketball, and enjoyed just about every single class I took. Throughout high school I volunteered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where I mentored other teenagers in climate change communication. Though I love marine invertebrates dearly, there's no place I'd rather be than the Sierra Nevada, where I like to backpack and mosquito-swat in the summertime. While my two sisters are my adventure buddies, I’m sure I’ll miss Penny my weenie dog most. I feel I’m ready for all the beauty, chaos, discomfort, and love that my travels will stir up, and it’s my greatest hope that my Bridge Year will prepare me for four years at Princeton that go beyond my personal education, and orient me towards a life of service. I’m just tryin' to gulp life—and I hear Varanasi is the place to be!