Several years ago, I stumbled across the idea of joining the Peace Corps after obtaining my undergraduate degree. I knew that I could get some kind of financial relief from the cost of a Master’s degree if I worked for the Peace Corps, all while traveling to a remote region of the world and assisting a community towards a better quality of life. However, I never did much research into the organization beyond the initial visit to their website which is why I thought it a good idea to attend the Peace Corps Career Workshop on September 21st.
The workshop speaker had nothing but wonderful things to say about his experience in Moldova working for the Peace Corps’s Economic Development sector. The vivid pictures of beaming children, breathtaking natural landscape, and a foreign culture’s personal tapestry beckoned me towards a new, unforgettable international adventure with the Peace Corps. However, two little words were – and continue – holding me back from completely committing myself to the program: two years.
The length of service the Peace Corps requires is two years. Of course, they allot their volunteers with vacations days (which our speaker encouraged us to use for exploring outside of our stationed region), but I remain hesitant. I cannot imagine being away from my family, away from my way of life for such an unimaginably long time. It is not as if I get offered a job on the opposite coast of the country from my home and move away; at least then, I will be able to see my family during holidays and keep up with friends via social media. Compared to continents separating us, several thousand miles seems like a grain of sand on the beach.
Right now at the age of 18, two years seems like a time period that will unfurl into the ambiguous future without end. I have only been away from my family for a month so far, but over the course of the next four years before I need to make up my mind, I will probably grow accustomed to being on my own, and maybe even welcome an adventure such as this.