Jenn Tran Calls “Bachelorette” Season 'the Best 2 Months of My Life,' Says She's 'Very Happy' with Ending (Exclusive)

Jenn Tran Calls “Bachelorette” Season 'the Best 2 Months of My Life,' Says She's 'Very Happy' with Ending (Exclusive)

"I am becoming the role model that I've always wanted to see as a little girl," the reality star tells PEOPLE of being the first Asian American Bachelorette

  • ABC named Jenn Tran The Bachelorette after she competed for Joey Graziadei's heart on season 28 of The Bachelor

  • Tran is the first Asian American person to take the lead in the franchise

  • The physician assistant student tells PEOPLE she "learned so much every day" while on The Bachelorette

Jenn Tran will certainly be tuning in when her season of The Bachelorette premieres on Monday, July 8.

“Are you kidding me? I'm not going to watch the best two months of my life? Of course, I am!” Tran, 26, told PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I am so excited for it to premiere. I feel like it's so weird that this crazy journey happened, and I am just so excited to be able to watch it back.”

Tran competed for Joey Graziadei’s heart on his season of The Bachelor but got eliminated during week seven. During After the Final Rose, host Jesse Palmer announced that Tran would take the lead as the next Bachelorette, making her the first Asian woman to fill the role.

<p>Disney/Jan Thijs</p> Jenn Trann with Joey Graziadei on his season of 'The Bachelor'

Disney/Jan Thijs

Jenn Trann with Joey Graziadei on his season of 'The Bachelor'

Related: Jenn Tran Tells Her Suitors 'Get Out' if They Came on The Bachelorette for Fame (Exclusive)

Tran says that the public reaction to her being the Bachelorette has “definitely been a mix.”

“I won't say that it's all been positive because racism still exists,” she continues. “I have gotten a lot of hate messages, but along with that, I've also gotten so many people who have been so grateful to see somebody like me on their screen. I feel so grateful and honored that I get to do that for people because growing up, I never had that. I am becoming the role model that I've always wanted to see as a little girl.”

Still, “it's been tough,” Tran admits of receiving unkind messages. “I was announced, and then, I had immediately left for filming. I didn't have my phone throughout that whole time, so I had no idea what the world was saying until I came back from this amazing experience. I was so excited and so hopeful, and then, I go online and I read a bajillion people's opinions on everything. That was really disappointing.”

<p>Disney/Wade Payne</p> Bachelorette Jenn Tran

Disney/Wade Payne

Bachelorette Jenn Tran

The physician assistant student admits that the negative feedback made her second guess her decision to say “yes” to doing The Bachelorette.

“I was like, ‘Do I deserve this?’” Tran shares. “It was really tough for me to see all of that, but I continue to stay grateful. I'm so honored to be the first Asian American lead. I know I'm inspiring so many people to embrace their differences. I really think my story lies in the fact that I've always felt different my entire life, and I hope that people can see that you shouldn't want to be normal, you should embrace what makes you you.”

For more on The Bachelorette, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now, or subscribe here.

Despite the cloud of judgment that surrounded her Bachelorette announcement, Tran feels pleased with how her season unfolded.

“I'm very happy with the ending and I'm very happy with the way everything panned out,” the reality star says. “I learned so much every day that I was there [to find out] about myself and what I wanted in a relationship. There was so much growth.”

<p>Disney/John Fleenor</p> Jenn Tran with Sam N. on 'The Bachelorette' season 21

Disney/John Fleenor

Jenn Tran with Sam N. on 'The Bachelorette' season 21

That includes changing her mind about what the end of her Bachelorette journey looked like.

“I feel like when you start on the journey, you're so hopeful for an engagement,” Tran says. “And then as you go through the journey, it's like, what [does] an engagement really mean to you? Is it just a ring, or is it a commitment? What I really was looking for was a lasting partner, so I think my definition of that really changed throughout the journey.”

Related: Jenn Tran's Official Bachelorette Cast Revealed! Meet the 25 Men Vying for Her Heart

Ultimately, Tran doesn’t want to put a timeline on her future.

“When I was a little girl, I was like, ‘I'm going to get married at this age. I'm going to get engaged here. I'm going to have kids at this age, and I'm going to go to PA school at this age,'" says Tran, who temporarily paused her PA studies to pursue reality TV. “Nothing has ever panned out that way, so I'm just going to take it one day at a time and be hopeful for the future.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The Bachelorette premieres Monday, July 8, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.