Unanswered [3] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Undergraduate   % width Posts: 4

"the perfect time in my life to challenge myself" - Peace Corp Essay


aurorlyn 1 / 1  
Jul 6, 2010   #1

After Graduating from College..



Since high school I've struggled to create a clear path for myself after I graduate college. The difficulty came from deciding how and when to continue my education in psychology while also wanting to travel before diving back into school and pursuing a career. Throughout undergraduate school I became active in contributing to my community through volunteer work. This led me to look into short-term volunteer programs that I could attend after I graduated. After discussing my options in length with my advisors, professors, and especially with friends who were struggling with similar decisions, I began to create my own path that I felt was worth pursuing.

A few experiences I have had recently have started the foundation of my passions and activism. This spring, I made the decision to become a vegetarian since I believe that this is one of the best choices I can make in order to help the environment. I receive many questions on why I've chosen to be a vegetarian and have used this opportunity to educate others on the impact food production has on the environment and the inhumane treatment of animals. These experiences have opened my eyes about how people view the world. When discussing my views on being a vegetarian, many people reply with: "Oh, I could never give up meat." When specifically discussing the inhumane treatment of animals I quite frequently receive the reply: "I just try not to think about it." People seem to make a conscious decision to not allow the things they know is wrong in the world affect them by simply ignoring it. Making a small difference in the world is so simple for many who have the right resources handed to them, they just don't use them. And there is still so much value in simply being kind to one another. As I've become more passionate about my beliefs and the well-being of others, the more I've realized that I find it difficult living a comfortable life without somehow contributing to the well-being of others.

When assessing what I want to achieve after I graduate, the Peace Corp is the perfect conclusion. I expect to gain an invaluable experience, one that will allow me to use the skills and passions I have acquired to make a larger contribution. I want to bring new ideas and experiences to a community and in turn bring home the experiences I acquire in hopes of inspiring others to create change in some way, whether through the comfort of their own community or in a completely new one.

I understand that the Peace Corp is a 24/7 job, and that my conduct at all hours will affect the progress of any work. Also, I know that in order to help others, one needs to provide the correct resources in a way that appeals to specific needs. I'm excited for this challenge: to learn about a community and develop relationships in order to understand how I can best provide for them. As of right now, my biggest challenge is preparing myself to leave my family and friends for two years. Although I feel slight anxiety when thinking about this, I am also excited for this challenge and through the support of my loved ones I know I can face it head on.

Fresh out of graduate school, this will be the perfect time in my life to challenge myself to tear away from the comfort of my home and use the skills and knowledge I have acquired to help others.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Jul 7, 2010   #2
First of all, it is the Peace Corps. It is a tricky word because the "s" is silent, but it is important to get it right in your essay.

I won't go more into the grammar at this point, but instead talk about my impression of the essay. I hope that you don't think I am picking on you. I just want you to see how what you say might be seen by others.

What I liked:

I want to bring new ideas and experiences to a community and in turn bring home the experiences I acquire in hopes of inspiring others to create change in some way

This is powerful. In my understanding of the Peace Corps, the mission goes beyond just helping people in developing countries, but being "goodwill ambassadors" with an open mind to a two-way cultural exchange. This speaks to the goals of the organization.

What confused me:

whether through the comfort of their own community or in a completely new one.

Huh? Are you thinking about taking the people you serve to a completely new community?

What I thought could be problematic:
Honestly? Although your commitment to vegetarianism and animal rights is admirable and environmentally responsible, with the Peace Corps, you must be able to acclimate and integrate into your new environment. This could prove difficult if you are perceived as judging people who eat meat or who may keep chickens in what you see as an inhumane manner. This is the only part of the essay that comes across as decisive, strong, and passionate. Which leads me to my next point ...

The essay comes across as wishy washy. You word choice doesn't convey a commitment or a passion; if anything, your word choice suggests serious reservations. Here are some examples: struggled, clear path, difficulty, short-term, struggling (again), and tear away.

Looking at the prompt, I don't feel like you have fully addressed it. Why do you want to join the Peace Corps? I get the feeling it is because you don't know what else to do. "Helping others" is vague. What drives you to leave the familiar and take on the obligation to serve long-term in an environment and capacity yet to be determined?

How do your reasons for wanting to join tie in with your life experiences and goals? This might be a good place to talk about the kinds of volunteering you have done. Did it involve teaching? Agriculture? Healthcare? Service to others? A Peace Corps volunteer really needs leadership ability. Have you served in a leadership role? Directed others in completing tasks or working as a team? And what about your goals? What are they and how will a stint in the Peace Corps help you to reach them?

You say that your biggest challenge will be leaving your family/friends and that you will meet that challenge head on with their love and support, but ... you will be away from them for over two years and may have minimal contact. You will probably not have Internet or access to a telephone (heck, you may not even have electricity) and letters lack immediacy. You certainly won't be going to movies with your college roommates on Friday nights and you won't be home for your mother's birthday. If these are obstacles that you can overcome, tell the Peace Corps how you plan to overcome these challenges ... the prompt is asking for a solution in addition to a confession.

If you want this, really want this, you have to make yourself sound like you will be a successful volunteer. The Peace Corps accepts less than a third of the people who apply. It might not be as hard to get into as grad school (depending on the school), but it is competitive.

Wishing you the best.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jul 8, 2010   #3
Yep, I see what Eric means about that "or a completely new one" sentence... you tried to say too much all at once.

You write well, though, so you can easily fix it!

Since high school I've struggled to create a clear path for myself after I graduate college. --- here is another sentence that is a bit jumbled. It is easily fixed like this:

Since high school I've struggled to envision a clear path to take after I graduate college.

That last sentence is excellent!
OP aurorlyn 1 / 1  
Jul 13, 2010   #4
Thank you so much, this really helps a lot!


Home / Undergraduate / "the perfect time in my life to challenge myself" - Peace Corp Essay