Meet Compass: Julia Karlsson

By: Abby Wyllie

Posted: 11.12.18

Name: Julia Karlsson

Age: 18

Hometown: A small town called Strangnas about an hour from the capital (Stockholm) of Sweden.

High School: Grillska Gymnasiet Eskilstuna

One Interesting fact about me: As you most​ ​likely already have figured out I’m not a Texan girl, not even close. I grew up in Sweden, a country on the opposite side of the planet where the climate is completely different from Texas, I’m still not used to this heat! However, I’m not fully Swedish. My mother is American and because of that I was actually born in Duluth, Minnesota and lived there until I was 3 years old.  After that my parents decided to move back to my father’s home country, Sweden, and I have lived there ever since, until now. Now I’m back in the country where I was born and I finally get to experience how it is to actually live here in America. So far, it’s amazing!

Why did you sign-up for Compass? This summer I worked at Camp Cho-yeh for the first time in my life and this was the place I came in contact with Compass and it’s director, Dave. Immediately after Dave told me about the program they were starting up, the idea of me staying here in Livingston grew bigger and bigger for each day that passed. Before going to Texas, I had been longing for a change in my life and I really wanted to grow stronger in my faith, this was the perfect place! After a lot of prayer and discussion with my family at home, I made a decision, I was going to stay. A decision I don’t think I will ever regret.

This time next year what do you want to say about your Gap Year Experience?My biggest hope for these 9 months here is that I grow in every possible area of my life. I hope that when I am done here I can say that I have become a better servant, have more cultural experience, have gotten to know many new friends, have a better understanding of the bible, and a stronger relationship with God. I want to be able to say that my Gap Year experience has changed my life!

What would you say to someone who was thinking about taking a Gap Year?I would say “DO IT”, without any hesitations. I have only done 3 months of my Gap Year program and I can already see how much this experience has changed and shaped me. This Gap Year program is constantly challenging me to grow and helping me to understand the way of living a healthy and purposeful life. Not only am I learning new meaningful lessons, I’m also building strong relationships with people who I believe are going to be lifelong friends. Once again, to anyone thinking about doing this gap year program, DO IT!