So, when I told my family that I was joining the Peace Corps to pursue a Master’s degree the responses I received were all very different and very interesting. Confusion was the majority… why? Why would you leave your job and go back to school? Some were confused about what the Peace Corps is and does. A few were excited and asked when they could come visit. All in all the mixed response gave me mixed feelings about my decision. Am I doing the right thing? Does this make sense in my life right now? Should I have looked at other program options?
When it comes down to it, I know that I made the right decision about joining the Peace Corps and pursuing my academic studies simultaneously. What better way to earn a Master’s degree? After 3 years (1 in school and 2 in the Peace Corps) I will have not only an M.P.S. from Cornell in International Agriculture and Rural Development and a completed research thesis but also two years of work experience on the ground in a developing country. I also know that no matter what I decide to do my family eventually warms up to the idea and supports me no matter what. I know that I am going to have anxieties about leaving my family and my comfort zone for the next two years but I hope to adapt to my new way of life and hopefully enrich the lives of those I meet as much as they enrich mine.
The one thing I am most upset about is missing my eldest brother’s wedding. His fiancé has become much like a sister to me (which is refreshing when you only have brothers) and to miss the ceremony that officially makes her part of our family is going to be really difficult. I was even asked to be in the wedding… that I had to turn down due to my other obligations with Peace Corps (unless approval is received or a family emergency occurs, the policy states that volunteers can not leave country until after 6 months of service). So, I will be missing this important event. Which is really hard for me to accept but I have to.
My decisions do not always seem rational to my peers, colleagues or family but sometimes you just have to pave your own road in life. So I suppose… I better get working on it.