Although freshman Danielle Payne said coming to the University of Idaho was a good decision, she”s taking a year off.
She will depart in September for a trip to South America with Youth With a Mission, an interdenominational non-profit organization, to learn more about God and participate in outreach.
“I didn’t think that I was ready last year,” Payne said. “(Now) I know that I could do it. I have more faith in myself.”
She said she is nervous about speaking Spanish, which she added to her nutrition major.
She said she would spend at least six months abroad and return to UI after a year off. Payne said she doesn”t imagine returning to school will be difficult.
“I don”t have enough knowledge to be as useful as I want to be in the world,” Payne said. “I”m just excited to learn more about the world.”
Payne said her ultimate goal is a lofty one.
“My end goal is basically to end world hunger, whatever I can do to do that,” she said.
While home over the summer, she said she will revisit the relationship with her boyfriend – the couple was attempting a long distance relationship.
“Things haven”t really worked out,” Payne said noting the difficulties of long-distance relationships.
Some relationships, however, have worked out. Payne said her relationship with her roommate has remained strong over spring semester.
“She”s awesome. She”s my best friend,” she said.
Payne said she intends to stay in touch with friends while she is on her mission, but is curious to see which friendships remain in tact when she returns.
“It”s going to be really hard to leave,” Payne said.
She said she has avoided calling Moscow and her dorm room “home” this year even though it has turned into one.
“It definitely is a home away from home,” Payne said.
She has gotten used to being 12 hours away from her home near Medford, Oregon, she said.
“It fells pretty normal to be away from home now,” Payne said. “I don”t know what restrictions my parents will place on me (while home).”
Although she said she had trouble breaking out of her shell at first, she found friends and joined various organizations, including Jazz Choir, marching band and the astronomy club.
“I can tell that I’ve grown a lot as a person,” she said, “Just being more responsible and understanding other worldly things.”