Well it has certainly been a long time since I’ve updated this blog. A lot has happened.
My last post was about how my interview had been scheduled. Well I went to the interview, and the actual interview went fine, about as well as could be expected. After the interview she asked if I had any questions. I told her my only question was about a general time line of when I could possibly expect to leave if I was nominated. She told me that because of the economy their budget had been cut, and when the economy goes does, applications go way up. Due to both of these factors every single program that I qualified for for 2009 was already full (keep in mind this was Jan. 06, 2009), and the soonest I could possibly leave would be January 2010. She said that they hadn’t even released the programs for 2010 yet, and I would need to call her on Jan. 26th when the programs were released to see if I could possible be nominated into something, but that I shouldn’t get my hopes up because the spots were very competitive.
Needless to say I left the interview extremely dissapointed. In fact I was probably more dissapointed than I had been in a very long time. I had absolutely had my heart set on the Peace Corps. I had read countless blogs from start to finish, had read several memoirs, had my mom and grandma read a peace corps book, and pretty much all of my Christmas gifts revolved around the Peace Corps.
Everything that I had read said to be prepared to wait 4-12 months from the day you apply until when you leave. But I also read that a lot of that delay can be attributed to people taking their time to get their health and dental clearances, so I thought if I did everything super fast I could leave within 4 months, or maybe prove everyone wrong, and leave even sooner. I submitted my application with all my recommendation letters on my birthday, November 1st. So I thought that I could leave by March 2009 if I wanted. Well after thinking about it a couple of days I decided that I didn’t want to just wait around not really doing anything until March so I decided to enroll full time at WSU through the internet. That way I could have school until May 8th. I knew that a lot of the programs started on May 15th, and that would be a full 7.5 months from when I applied so I figured I would have absolutely no problem getting into one of those programs. I was very wrong.
For a while I had almost entirely decided against joining the Peace Corps. I was probably 90% sure I was going to tell my recruiter I simply couldn’t wait that long. It wasn’t the waiting that was bothering me so much. It was the waiting while not doing anything else that bothered me. I currently am 22, live at home, and work at a pizza place as a delivery driver. The only way I can even justify this to myself right now is the fact that I also am enrolled in college full time. But from May-Jan (at the earliest) I wouldn’t be in school any longer. I looked at a bunch of options for things to do from May-Jan, but so far nothing has worked out.
I was leaning pretty firmly towards joining the Air Force. I even got two ASVAB study guides, and started studying for the ASVAB. But I never could stop thinking about the Peace Corps. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it just felt right to me. Aside from the fact that I wanted to do it more than anything, it just felt right. All the other options (Air Force, Grad School, Job, Start a Business, Americorps, and other volunteer work) didn’t feel 100% like what I should be doing, but the Peace Corps did.
Then the day rolled around when the programs opened up, and I called my recruiter. She said that there weren’t many openings, as she had warned me, but if I wanted her to she would still try to get me in one. I told her I did want her to, even though at this time I was still probably 80% sure I didn’t want to wait even though it felt right. A week later she called me again and said she was able to nominate me into a program, but it didn’t leave until MARCH 2010. She didn’t give any explanation on why I wasn’t able to get into a Jan. program. The only details she knew was that it was a small business development program, and it was in Eastern Europe. I told her that I did want to be nominated into the program, and thanked her. She then told me that since I do have an employer now I need to get a letter of recommendation from him. When I worked at Edward Jones I didn’t have a supervisor, so I was able to get an exception. I told her I would definitely ask him, but that I did work at a pizza place so it would be kinda weird.
Anyway despite being pushed back another three months I actually started to lean more and more towards the Peace Corps. I think maybe it was because it became more real once I was actually nominated into a program, and had an actual location, albeit vague. It took a while but I was finally able to get my boss to write and send in the recommendation letter. Peace Corps sent me a packet with a ton of health forms, but I assume I have a LONG time to get them done, so I’m in no hurry.
I’m still not 100% on the Peace Corps because of the wait, but I am definitely leaning that way. Its crazy to think that if I do decide to do it it will have been a full 17 months from the day I applied until I leave. Everything I read said 12 months MAXIMUM. That is really ridiculous actually. Hopefully I can find something to do from May-March because sitting at home working part time as a delivery driver when I am 22/23 with multiple college degrees sounds absolutely miserable.
Hopefully this isn’t my last post and someday other people will actually read this blog.