An open letter to my past self

Written by: Samantha Abajian

Dear past self,

I’m so proud of you! Your first year of college has been rough; I hear you. I know you’re sitting in that tiny dorm room, questioning where you’ll go and what you’ll do. Or maybe you’re just procrastinating on your reading assignments, that’s okay too. And I know you’re mainly wondering if we ever found that purpose of ours. I’m here to tell you that we did…well, sort of!

There’s always been a passionate curiosity in you, and trust me, that won’t go away. You’re staring at the GIVE website, eager to have finally found that journey and purpose you’ve been looking for. But just between you and I, underneath it all, I know you’re freaking out. I mean, who knows you better than yourself? I know you feel like you’re not allowed to be scared. Everyone around you is bombarding you with words of worry. Tanzania? Alone? Are you sure this is a good idea? You assure them with confidence and certainty, though deep down these things naturally scare you too. You’ll soon learn that uncertainty and wonder are your superpowers.

You did it. Despite the hesitation, your drive to connect and step outside your comfort zone has been stronger than any fear. Three flights and one ferry later, you arrived in Zanzibar without knowing the fantastic adventure ahead. Trust that you will never be alone throughout this journey. Days filled to the brim with love, community, connectivity, and adventure wait for you. Every day will be a chance to learn even as you stand in front of a classroom full of students. Shockingly, in Tanzania you become a morning person since mornings mean watching the sunrise over the ocean with a new community of friends. You’ll learn the Jambo Bwana song by heart while becoming a pro at making eco-bricks. Most importantly, you learn to trust that ‘purpose’ is more than just finding something you’re meant to do, but learning who you want to be.

Trust yourself, take that leap, and book the trip of a lifetime. There’s an endless amount of moments waiting to be discovered and shared. Believe me, you won’t regret it!


With love,


“Stop worrying about what can go wrong, and get excited about what can go right."