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

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

Published Time: 08.07.2024 - 01:31:16 Modified Time: 08.07.2024 - 01:31:16

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 forJoey Graziadei’s heart on his season ofThe 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.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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

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