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Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
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floridaboiii Offline
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Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
So I've accepted a position as a Business Development volunteer in the peace corps. I'm supposed to leave early 2018 and I'm starting to really have second thoughts about the entire thing. (I've been talking to family and friends and they keep asking why I would want to do this, "you're crazy" "you're not making any money.") I feel like I'm around a lot of people who want to live cushy, boring lives and while I know why I want to do it these people are making me think, should I just play it safe...?

I'm 23 and right now my bankroll is low. I work a desk job... and it sucks. I took this job to progress in the company. If I leave for the PC I will have been at my desk job for a year, and after that year I will be a much more attractive candidate to hiring managers inside the company and with other firms. I could increase my salary to at least 40,000+ around march or april 2018, IF I WERE TO STAY in the United States instead of moving abroad. The company I'm at would pay for my grad school if I were to stay with them after that year mark. I have never had money in my life, parents have never had money, I have no kids and if I were making 40k+ next year I would be living pretty good to be honest.

On the other hand I have what I think is an awesome opportunity to move to South America and volunteer with the Peace Corps. I will learn two languages and my title will be a business development volunteer. I will be giving up two years of earning 35-40,000+ plus I already sacrificed a year of my life working this shitty job and potentially having grad school paid for. I won't be making any money in a village in South America. I feel like becoming fluent in another two languages, the resume points, potential networking opportunities, and overall life experience will benefit me more in the long run than just remaining in the states and working. Plus when will I have another chance to do this?

Have any of you done the Peace Corps? What was your experience like? Now that you're back in the United States has your bankroll increased and are jobs easier to find? Are you glad that you went and volunteered?

If you haven't joined PC but read this what do you think?
10-10-2017 09:47 PM
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EndsExpect Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
(10-10-2017 09:47 PM)floridaboiii Wrote:  So I've accepted a position as a Business Development volunteer in the peace corps. I'm supposed to leave early 2018 and I'm starting to really have second thoughts about the entire thing. (I've been talking to family and friends and they keep asking why I would want to do this, "you're crazy" "you're not making any money.") I feel like I'm around a lot of people who want to live cushy, boring lives and while I know why I want to do it these people are making me think, should I just play it safe...?
I'm 23 and right now my bankroll is low. I work a desk job... and it sucks. I took this job to progress in the company. If I leave for the PC I will have been at my desk job for a year, and after that year I will be a much more attractive candidate to hiring managers inside the company and with other firms. I could increase my salary to at least 40,000+ around march or april 2018, IF I WERE TO STAY in the United States instead of moving abroad. The company I'm at would pay for my grad school if I were to stay with them after that year mark. I have never had money in my life, parents have never had money, I have no kids and if I were making 40k+ next year I would be living pretty good to be honest.
On the other hand I have what I think is an awesome opportunity to move to South America and volunteer with the Peace Corps. I will learn two languages and my title will be a business development volunteer. I will be giving up two years of earning 35-40,000+ plus I already sacrificed a year of my life working this shitty job and potentially having grad school paid for. I won't be making any money in a village in South America. I feel like becoming fluent in another two languages, the resume points, potential networking opportunities, and overall life experience will benefit me more in the long run than just remaining in the states and working. Plus when will I have another chance to do this?
Have any of you done the Peace Corps? What was your experience like? Now that you're back in the United States has your bankroll increased and are jobs easier to find? Are you glad that you went and volunteered?
If you haven't joined PC but read this what do you think?

Opportunity costs - $80,000 salary, plus lets say $50,000 in free grad school.

So you lose $130,000 and set back your career 2 to 3 years. Grad school will further boost your long term earnings. Let's say grad school earns you an extra $20,000 a year to your paycheck. Delaying grad school by 1 year decreases your long term earning potential by another $20k... so perhaps your total opportunity cost is $150,000.

Now, what exactly will you get out of the peace corps? A second language is nice. Is it worth $150,000? Business Development Volunteer... that might look good on a resume?

My thinking is that I would rather make my $40,000 in a shitty job and use the extra money to visit South America on Vacations. Teach myself Spanish and then go practice it while banging Latinas in 2 week spurts. My guess is that you will be more attractive to them as a man with a career and cash in his pocket than yet another broke ass peace corp guy. That's just my thinking though.
10-11-2017 12:25 AM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
A lot of people I see go through the peace corps are do-gooders looking to level up their grad school resumes.

It'll look good on your resume if anything else and would be a fun experience especially to go in your youth.
10-11-2017 12:32 AM
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Laurifer Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
PC alumni do receive preferential hiring in federal government positions, though I'm not sure how that actually pans out in reality. It's supposed to be akin to being a veteran in that regard, no GI bill though.

I was looking at their Business Development positions in Ukraine (only place I'd be interested in going) but they filled up before I graduated. I might still look into it again in a few years.

I know there's at least one rvf guy on here that was in it and had a thread about it.
(This post was last modified: 10-11-2017 01:54 AM by Laurifer.)
10-11-2017 01:53 AM
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Suits Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Just do it, man.

If you don't you'll just end up bored and wondering "what if?"

In the greater scheme of things, two years is not that long and if you make the correct effort, the experience will be invaluable.

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10-11-2017 02:32 AM
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Simeon_Strangelight Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
I can imagine that you can bang quite a few cuties, so why not. But it's better not to have too many illusions about some of the programs.
10-11-2017 03:14 AM
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Fortis Away
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
I think if they're actually gonna pay for grad school, then I'd stick it out and leech as much as possible from that company. Grad school is fucking pricey these days.
10-11-2017 03:32 AM
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puckerman Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Go for it. The opportunity to learn a second language is there. That's something that will make you a better man no matter what you do. It looks on any resume.

Look up organizations of returned Peace Corps people. It's a good network to have. Plus, tell us how your game works. I've heard that Peace Corps people will sometimes get together just for orgies.
10-13-2017 08:50 PM
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Money wise it'll never justify itself but life's about more than money.

Just do a one year commitment and live a little
10-14-2017 10:29 AM
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Can you be a little more specific about the location? Location is a huge factor. I am in the international affairs world, and have met a number of peace corps folks. Off the top of my head, they spent time in Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, and Mongolia--not exactly hotspots. And to make matters worse, these weren't big cities, they were in the middle of nowhere. Since you are in business development, I suppose it will be closer to a big or mid-tier city, but again it would be helpful to get a better idea of where you will be, without you outing yourself.

Also, you say that you will be giving up making 35-40k per year. Well, so what? If you are living on your own you can't be saving much if anything on that salary. You're just working to get by at that point. And since you hate your job it seems like giving it up wouldn't be a bad thing.

Just make sure if you go through with it make sure you do it for the right reasons. You're gong to get paid virtually nothing, the work may be dull and frustrating, and don't plan on getting laid all the time and partying. If you simply want to have a great life experience and grow as a person, then go for it. From what I see, however, and based on your presence on this forum, it seems that you may just be looking for ways to escape the west, live abroad, and learn languages. If so, your long-term goals should be focused on creating a location independent business, not getting ahead in your career which seems to be a catalyst for the peace corps gig.

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(This post was last modified: 10-14-2017 10:54 AM by Seth_Rose.)
10-14-2017 10:52 AM
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RatInTheWoods Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
You are young and this is an incredible opportunity to gain experience in life.

Don't look at this doing the finance sums,think of it as investment in your skills, outlook and life.

Go for it hard is my advice.
10-15-2017 03:17 AM
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floridaboiii Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Thank you to you guys for your honesty. I saw a thread from that other guy but its two years old... Figured maybe there were some other volunteers on here by now.

@SethRose
Country is in South Central South America, you can probably guess it based on my description (it's not a popular country). I've read that some people have needed horses because their site is so rural but I'm guessing I'll be in or near a city.

@Ends Expect
Thank you for the break down. Grad school is the major thing that I feel I'm passing up or putting off for two years, I don't think the company would foot the entire bill but I know they do offer reimbursement. I also forgot that as long as I leave the company I'm at on good terms I can always come back... I start with the same seniority as last time as well. So I'm guessing if I were to start back with the company when I come back then maybe same thing would still be in play.


It's interesting though hearing people talk about money vs life not being about money. I'm more on the side of life is about more than money anyways. I'll just keep an open mind and try to learn as much as possible.
10-15-2017 08:37 AM
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monsquid Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Peace Corps not recommended.

The PC administration has been bogged down with budget issues and bureaucracy. You're better off progressing your career and investing in yourself in other ways with your time. Plus in today's culture the prestige of the PC is not what it used to be.

I'm gonna take a contrarian stance to most of the advice in the replies and say that you need to grind to make money and improve your skills during your 20s. You have an amazing ability to deal with long hours and BS when you're younger. Last thing you want is to be in your mid 30s and trying to compete with 20 somethings in a shit pay job to prove yourself.
10-15-2017 11:24 AM
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
I would imagine the SJW rhetoric is strong in an organization like this. I imagine a lot of NGO types, and when I see such folks around Thailand and Cambodia I can't help but think they are the last people I 'd want to get stuck spending my time with. I did think about joining when I was younger, as my Grandma and uncle both did in their youth, and I would ignore all the people in your immediate life telling you that you are crazy for doing it, but perhaps there are other, better ways to run off on an adventure and see the world.

Start an internet biz would be my choice, but that's what I did, so I'm biased in this regard. I also realize it's not a path for everyone - productivity can be hard to maintain, it's easy to run off the rails with no real ties in your life, and you may get lonely with lack of constant, mandatory socialization. But you can't ignore the huge variety of directions you can go with, the virtually unlimited ceiling, and the flexibility and control it gives you over your own life.

Teaching English doesn't have the flexibility or earnings potential of striking out on your own but can offer some structure and socialization while still giving you a bit more freedom to choose where you are and upgrade/switch gigs and locations as needed for a better setup. Personally, I'd probably go for teaching English before Peace Corps just to avoid the SJWs (you'll still find them at schools abroad, so you won't avoid them completely), and maintain some flexibility. Think of it as a foot in the door as you see what's out there and look for other opportunities - it's not meant to be a lifelong career.

You could also consider some more higher education and getting in a study abroad program. I did this when I was younger too and had some of the best times of my life - I've even managed to leverage those experiences for landing freelance clients.

But again, I would put all the critics who haven't spent time abroad on a complete ignore. If you're like most youngsters who dream of unplugging and hitting the road, you're going to get hooked once you do get a taste of living internationally, and these people, and those jobs you now talk about someday going back to with a better resume, will someday be a nonissue in your life as you evolve and move on to other things.

I still love and respect many of the people from my old life and try to step back into their world from time to time on visits home, but I've outgrown them so much I cannot fathom every taking life advice from them at this point.

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(This post was last modified: 10-15-2017 02:50 PM by Beyond Borders.)
10-15-2017 02:41 PM
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
If a year from now you get shot in the head, what would you wish you would have done?

We can name potential consequences but we cannot tell you what is meaningful, it differs from person to person.
(This post was last modified: 10-15-2017 03:27 PM by asdfk.)
10-15-2017 03:26 PM
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RaulValdez739 Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
You only get one life. Money is important, but can never be young again. Just do it and make sure your finances are okay before you leave.
10-17-2017 10:56 AM
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Alpharius Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
If I could do my early 20's over again, I would have done two things immediately after graduating college - get my EMT-B, and immediately apply to join the Peace Corps.

Money is money. Life should be worth living.

If you are going to impose your will on the world, you must have control over what you believe.

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10-17-2017 09:41 PM
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floridaboiii Offline
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
I'm a black dude whose dad is from the hood and was raised by a single mom, typical black male making it background. I don't want this to define my service so I don't talk about it much but I want people to understand where I'm coming from. I wanted to join the PC because I had mentors in my life who had me on the straight and narrow. If these people hadn't been checking in on me, keeping me playing sports, telling me to not only survive but thrive I don't know if I would be where I am today. I hope I can be that catalyst in another persons life, not only here in SA but even when I get back to the USA. I've also always wanted to learn another language.

I also want to say that this forum has truly changed my life. My mother did an awesome job raising me but in the past couple of years I've learned and grown and been inspired so much just by reading this forum and putting into practice some of the things I've seen here. I love my momma but there's some things she just couldn't teach me. I know a lot of people like to focus on how we talk about women but there is a lot of incredible discussion going on in other parts of this website. A lot of this inspired me to join the PC in the first place. I was depressed in college but am definitely in a great place right now. Thanks to anyone reading who contributes to RVF.

I'm vague because I don't want this to easily be found by a google search. My country is in central South America, it's one of two landlocked South American countries. NOBODY talks about it. It's the safer of the two countries. You should be able to guess based on that.

Before I left I only saved about 500US$ that I still haven't touched even though I only get paid about 20US$ a week. I deferred my government student loans due to economic hardship. I paid one of my private loans up for nine months. I'm still paying a credit card, and one of my parents is taking care of another tiny credit card payment to help out. I gave my brother my car payment. Everything financially has worked out so far.

I put in my two weeks at my company before I left to a LOT of surprised faces but had a ton of support. They had been talking about preparing me for leadership roles and I had been talking about moving up as well even though I knew I accepted this position. I wanted until I was legally cleared to put in a two weeks notice. One of my bosses very high up in the ladder called me into her office to ask if I was leaving the company because I felt there wasn't any opportunity for advancement and I told her that PC is something I want to do. She then told me she understands why I would want to join... she did two tours in the PC... and that if I ever needed anything I'm leaving in good terms. Shit felt good.

Like I said my title is business development representative but they stress that we will do community economic development. Right now we're being trained on a bunch of soft skills... it reminds me of the bullshit that college was. I'm picking up Spanish poco a poco and in only a little bit of time am definitely not fluent but can understand way more than I did when I first got here. They definitely do a great job of that. What I see myself doing is whatever I want to do. That means I can walk into a school and teach English if I want to. If I want to be a personal trainer I can do that. If I want to teach leadership I can do that. We're placed in a city and live with a family for a few months and then can move in by ourselves and can really get started with the two years of service so we will see what kind of things happen. What I think is cool is that the ball is literally in my court, there is no set instruction on how to serve. I'll get out what I put in.

Now back to me thanking this forum. Yes I serve with a bunch of feminists and snowflakes but at the end of the day they mean well just like I do. I respect that. I'm a liberal but open to learning about opinions different than mine. The guys are super white knight for the most part. A bunch of people are super socially awkward and are worried about "integrating" into the community. They're worried about not having any volunteers near them for fear of being alone. They're worried about it being "too hard." I used to be these people so I understand why they might feel this way, I'm happy I've grown out of that. This forum has taught me that life is hard and that I need to work in order to achieve what I want to achieve. You guys helped me go from awkward dude to ambitious dude following his dreams.

There's a bunch of little stuff that happens that lets me know how far I've come socially. I feel like these things will help me when it comes to serving, because in reality who am I to come into their country and "help" them. When I got here I didn't know any Spanish but not only does my host family love me, all of their family and friends know and love me. Yesterday the bar owner introduced himself to me. He asked me if my friends and I got home safely. On the first day my host sisters seemed scared when they met me... but adore me now. Having women from the states still craving my attention everyday, video chatting them and them crying because they miss me (I didn't even date them. The people at my job were actually sad I was leaving. Random people in my city in my new country knowing my name. It feels good and these are just some of the tangible things I notice now. As someone in community development really all I'm doing is getting to know people and trying to figure out how I can help so working on being a leader back in the states and having people trust me works in my advantage and hopefully will lead to some successful projects.

It's true that if you focus on yourself women will come. Of course they aren't used to black men from the states so I know that's a factor but still so far I've had more attention then I've ever had in my life. More than when I was in Mexico. Not only from girls in the country but from the women I work with (they don't have much to pick from anyways). Datasheets will come in a little while. People are sleep on this countries women. I even have a sugar mama...

TLDR: All in all, right now I truly feel like I'm living.
(This post was last modified: 03-30-2018 09:43 AM by floridaboiii.)
03-30-2018 09:42 AM
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Cattle Rustler Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
"I even have a sugar mama..."

Drop a datasheet homie.

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03-30-2018 09:59 AM
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
There's already some really good advice here, but in the end you will have to decide it for yourself.
What could help is; take a sheet of paper and divide the paper in 2 columns.

One column that says ''go to PC'' and another one that says ''Stay in US'' or something similar.

Write down the benefits of each choice in the respecting column. Keep some of the advice in mind other people give you, but listen to both your heart & common sense.
Writing things down might help you.

Do you really want to join the PC? Or is it just to get the ''business dev'' title, to learn Spanish, to help the local community, to bang Latina's, etc.... If so, there are A LOT more efficient ways that don't require that big of a commitment..

All the best to you!
(This post was last modified: 03-30-2018 09:40 PM by Kentemo.)
03-30-2018 09:35 PM
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RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
If you don't have any desire to help people and do good in the world then don't do it.

I think it would be an amazing opportunity, doing something exciting and different than most people will ever get to experience, learning a language, being around other young people living in an untraditional lifestyle for a few years. While it will be hard work a different lifestyle and in many ways less stress than a typical office job.

That said unless you want to do good I dont think you'll be happy with the sacrafice.

I wouldn't worry too much about money and opportunity cost. At your age I thought I wanna start earning money, in the grand scheme of things in your early to mid 20's most people aren't earning shit anyways, I wouldn't have really been set back any further if I traveled or fucked around for those years versus working as I wasn't earning shit and wans't saving shit anyways.

I personally think its a great opportunity and your only young once, you can earn money into your 70's you can't do peace corp as a 45 year old guy
04-02-2018 11:58 AM
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Robert High Hawk Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Well it sounds like you made a great choice. You have 2 years now to fully develop yourself, and also the time and freedom to make some great personal plans and start on them. If you want to get into your own online business, I cannot honestly think of a better time and opportunity to do so.

There is certainly economic cost associated with your choice, but at your age you can bounce back, or leverage this experience properly to come back in the game strong. Another thing is that you are also in a period of your life where the experiences you get there, being fully integrated, are going to be much more meaningful than at a later age, and certainly more meaningful than some vacation, even if you backpack for months.

Very glad this decision worked out for you, and hope it continues too. I would certainly look into developing a business there, perhaps utilize some of the locals to make it happen.

Best of luck and keep posting about it!
04-08-2018 07:21 AM
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wi30 Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Congrats man, keep us updated on how things go.
04-08-2018 10:05 AM
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Post: #24
RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
I was in the Marines Corps before I settled down with my ex-wife. It was a great period and a lot of fun with the colleagues. After that, I became what my wife made me... A cuckhold
04-11-2018 04:36 AM
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floridaboiii Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Has anybody joined the Peace Corps?
Almost two years later and just want to finish up this thread. Maybe some other person will read this information and it will benefit them.

What did I like about the PC?

The relationships that you make along the way personally for me were invaluable. I had to leave abruptly and people really miss me. I miss them! I learned how to budget... mainly because I was broke. I became a better cook. I gained invaluable communication skills. When you pick up another language you take on an entirely different personality. I was able to reinvent myself, keep the good parts and leave out some bad traits. I got to learn Spanish. I'm not fluent yet but I'm able to communicate. I loved the culture of the place that I was in, people were genuinely happy. Not everybody will have this same experience in that regard, it depends on the country. I had a lot of time to myself to think and reflect and write. I hadn't read a book in over four years and have read like thirty books in the past six months. It’s an awesome feeling having a project that takes off and that people are excited for. It felt awesome to have an entire community look up to me and emulate me. It felt awesome to have an entire community take care of me. Where I was at I was in total control of what happened during the time I spent there. I had to check-in like every six months. In order to do anything during service you have to be driven, you have to lead, you have to take risks; these are things I can talk about when I start interviewing. If you have your shit together and know how to flesh out your PC experience in an interview the things you did in PC will allow you to be an attractive and unique job interviewee. PC is kind of like a fraternity and I’ve met and worked with some incredible people who have family in government and shit, great network.

Joining PC is attainable, I didn’t feel that it was too hard to get accepted. There aren’t too many relatively easy opportunities like this where you get to see the world and basically get paid to learn another language and occasionally work. I think there are super busy people who work near 40 hours a week but it is definitely not common. I worked about 5-10 hours a week and the rest was being a positive influence in the community. I don’t count that as work because it was fun for me.

What I didn't like

I got screwed almost every step of the way. PC is government and that means a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit. PC is also horrible at communication. One of the most egregious things was when they setup where I would be living. I got to the place and my hosts literally told me I couldn’t live there. I called PC and nobody knew anything. How did they send me to a place I couldn’t live in and not even know anything about it?

Eventually they decide to switch me to another place. They show me two names of two random cities I know nothing about and asked me to make a two year long decision about where I would live in the span of thirty seconds…

You will be fucking bored out of your mind. It took me a while to get into a routine but before that I felt like I wasted a lot of time just not doing anything.

You have to be very G rated. You can’t let anything slip or offend anyone or you will be on your way out or shunned. I really don’t mind different types of people but they really force those types of things on you. Once you get past that its smooth sailing. I thought it was funny that I was one of the most popular and well-liked person in our group. I wouldn’t call myself a feminist and I’m an extremely manly man and I like to hookup with chicks… the type of dude that constantly get shit on. Perfect example of not listening to what women say but how they act… There is a lack of straight dudes that aren’t strange so I guess I understand why everyone gravitated towards me.

Supposedly you’re setup to be successful… They give you a contact and they are supposed to be the main person you work with. Sometimes you get lucky and they’re awesome. Sometimes you’re like me and you just show up. I had to go out and be successful, I got no help from anybody. I gained a lot from going out and starting things. I didn't appreciate how I had just absolutely nothing to work with, it was jarring for me. Yes, they tell you you need to be motivated and a self-starter but you have to give people SOMETHING to work with.

I had to leave abruptly and that experience was an absolute disaster. Basically once you’re out of PC nobody gives a shit about you. It’s very true.

Overall if you’re able to handle all the bullshit you come out a stronger person. I honestly wished I could’ve given as much to the people where I lived as I personally gained but that’s a tough thing to do. As I’m typing this I can look back at everything that went wrong and take a lesson away from it. These are things that I will be able to apply in every aspect of my life moving forward. I think the positives outweigh the negatives and I’m happy with my decision.

Once again thank you to this forum. Back when I joined I was going through some shit. I wasn’t taking risks. I wasn’t trying to improve myself. Reading about other people’s experiences prompted me to make some changes and here we are today. I’m happy, I’m positive, I’m more confident; I’m at peace. If you’re someone who is reading this and you're struggling... start taking risks, keep improving, keep learning. Stay positive because things get better.
05-13-2019 04:12 PM
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