Lesson 3: Freshmeat to Volunteer

Like many other 18 year olds heading off to college I had no idea what I wanted to major in, so of course, I had no idea what I was going to do after I graduated.

Usually when people asked I just made it up. I wanted to be a Veterinarian, an Environmental Engineer, work at the State Department, or I simply said I wasn’t sure.

In my freshman year I remember sitting in my Agricultural Business 101 class-having no idea what I was supposed to be learning- and having a Peace Corps (PC) representative come into the class to do a presentation.

I don’t remember all of the details of the presentation but I do recall the presenter mentioning that the program was for 2 years. My Freshman mind though, “why on earth would someone want to do that for 2 years?”

I finally got into my major and studied abroad around sophmore year. Both of which led me to figuring out what I wanted to do…well they gave me this idea that I wanted to travel and work with people, but you have to start somewhere. All I had to do was figure out how to do that fresh out of college-considering that places like the State Department or United Nations want people to have years of experience in development before they hire you.

For the next couple years of school I kept seeing PC presentations in different classes. The more presentations I saw, and the more research I did, the more the idea of the Peace Corps didn’t seem so crazy.

I mean, my parents were in the military and we moved every 2-3 years because of it. I liked moving around and meeting new people.

I really found my way to the PC while sitting in classes with other CED majors (who also had no idea what they were going to do when they graduated) that discussed different possibilities for post-graduate employment. Of course the PC was one of the many things listed by students and professors.

The more time that went on, the more serious I got about the possibility that it was the right choice for me. As a junior I made an appointment with the on-campus recruiter to discuss my eligibility and if I would be a good fit. Her name was Liz, she was wonderful, answered all of my questions, and even helped me decided what would be best on my resume. After meeting with her, I knew PC was for me.

Next thing I knew I was telling people, “I want to be in the Peace Corps,” “I’m going to apply to the Peace Corps.”

It became my only option. The only thing I wanted.

I applied on December 26th 2014 and I cannot wait to be in Cameroon in May.

Lesson #3: Sometimes things are worth giving a second look. You never know if could end up being perfect for you. 



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