American colleges are not for me. They just aren’t. Especially after the army. Perhaps it was all the tuna they fed me in the army, perhaps it was the inhalation of all the gun smoke, perhaps it was the ridiculous lack of sleep and time I spent awake guarding that caused me to make a bold statement such as this, but it’s true.

In reality, everyone’s mind changes after the army. Every person that has done the army knows EXACTLY what that means. One’s mindset is simply not the same afterwards. The same friendships that you had before suddenly aren’t the same, and things and the connection doesn’t click like it used to. The things you valued before you no longer value nearly as much or at all, and things that you might have never valued are now stone pillars that hold up your very existence as a being. So to go back to a country in which things would be the same exact way I left them, while I specifically changed quite a bit, sounded like a digression in my mind.

One thing that didn’t change, though, was my analytic personality, specifically analyzing each decision I make from every angle, pros and cons, and how it could affect my future growth as an individual and my path in life. So when it came to choosing the next step post army, my mind was at full blast.

The most important thing for me was staying in Israel. That first and foremost was extremely important due to the fact that I simply didn’t feel more at home there than anywhere else. It was where I grew as a person, my best friends were, and where a life that was generally happier, in a happier, warmer environment, with inspirational people all around, was waiting for me. I mean, besides that, going to an American college would mean going back towards and surrounding myself with a mindset which simply does not fully grasp the concept of Israeli lifestyle or reality in general. To put it real simply, they just wouldn’t “get it.” It would be going into a bubble that consists of nothing on the outside, and only of what is going on, on the inside. I needed to be with people that “got it.” I needed to be with people with a similar mindset, whether it be the love of Israel, or being Jewish. I needed to be with people that didn’t live in a bubble, and had a perspective of what was going on in the world, aside from what was going on with themselves only. I needed to be with people that thought outside the usual box the rest of the world was thinking inside of. I needed to be with people that saw the world of not only their country, but of many others. I especially didn’t feel like explaining myself on an American college campus on why I stand with Israel, or what Israel is. I’d much rather be with people that simply support Israel.

I truly believe that everyone that goes to IDC goes because they feel some sort of connection to Israel, and is different from the norm, and unique in their own way. I needed to be surrounded by unity, in an environment which was very friendly and very social; a positive environment that would help me grow as an individual on both an intellectual and emotional level – all by simply introducing me to the world around me, to people from around the world, people other than Americans.

After spending 17 years in America, I realized that I was done with American education and needed something different. I do believe that I established a pretty decent friend circle and network, while in America, and I loved meeting new people from all around the world. I needed to expand my circle. And truthfully, speaking from a professional standpoint, networking in any field is one of the most important things necessary to succeed. So making connections and friendships with people from around the world would expand my network in ways many other people in America could never imagine.

So why are American colleges not for me? Maybe it’s the fact I’d never let someone haze me at a frat. Maybe it’s the fact that I simply don’t have patience for ignorant, uneducated anti-Israel propaganda on college campuses. Maybe it’s the fact that I simply had enough of the cold back in New York. But if asked, I’d say it’s simply the best next step for my education, my growth as an individual, my future endeavors, my career path, my network, but most of all, my love for my country and home.