What has surprised you most about the City Year experience that you didn't expect?

“I did not expect to love the culture so much! PT (physical training) every Friday morning is my favorite part of the week, and I love having a community of inspired, energetic, passionate people to bring out my energy and optimism.”

“How quickly you will acclimate to City Year culture and have City Year values become an important part of your life.”

“That CY mixes political messages into its trainings.”

“I did not expect the amount of training we have received thus far.”

“I didn't know how diverse City Year is. I finished my corps year with an appreciation for diversity that I'd never even imagined. Being exposed to other's ideas and experiences is an amazing benefit of being here, as is learning to be aware of and utilize diverse strengths. They're values and skills I'd never even considered before City Year.”

“CY culture!”

“We are not only making a change in the lives of others, but we also focus a lot on team work and individual growth.”

“The support you receive from everyone involved at City Year. Truly a unique environment.”

“City Year has brought out a creative side of me that I did not know I had.”

“Something now that I really appreciate is the importance and impact that parents play in validating the role corps members play in the school/student's life. The number of community members that will come up to you and thank you for your service despite not knowing who they are or having a direct connection to them.”

“That I don't like it as much as I intended to and that it has such a rigid chain of command.”

“I didn't expect City Year to tie in so closely to what I wanted to do with my life. I was used to experiences being relatively contained, having moved between schools and programs that, while they did develop me as a person, did not do much to connect me to a larger cause. City Year, by contrast, focuses so much on personal development that it is impossible for me, after over a year of service, to not take initiative on anything that I want to see happen. I am familiar with the idea of high standards as they relate to academia. The standards that I am held to within City Year--indeed, the ones that I hold myself to here--ask more of me than critical thought and time management. I have learned how to align my physical, emotional, and intellectual self in a way that makes me conscious of my own agency like I have never been before.”


Also check out:

Applying to City Year: What I Wish I’d Known

Applying to City Year: Best Resources Once Accepted

Applying to City Year: What My Family and Friends Want to Know

Applying to City Year: Favorite Thing About Manchester, NH


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