Earlier this term I had somewhat of a nervous breakdown and decided that now is not the best time for me to apply to graduate school. The deadlines for that have now passed, so the decision was made. The reason for not applying was a few reasons. Firstly I am not sure exactly what I want to study. I know I DON'T want to continue with electrical engineering, and the most interesting field right now looks like interdisciplinary environmental studies. UC Berkeley and Stanford have pretty good programs in this field. However, I am not 100% sure on this, and though I will probably never be, I think some time off to make this decision is a good idea. I was too wrapped up with school, ultimate, fraternity, copper tree, and a girl driving me insane to properly do these applications. Though I may look back and think that all of those are trivial compared to graduate school, I think that time off is better for me regardless.
So why did I choose Peace Corps? Well in terms of a humanitarian organization it had the easiest application process. It is quite structured and will probably allow me to grow in many ways as a person. I really want to go abroad again even more seriously than when I went to Thailand, so that is a plus. Also, I feel I can really make a difference with it since I will be directly helping people in need instead of lying to myself that my job indirectly does it. I am aware that because of the fact that Peace Corps is a US government organization that the projects do not always help, and some of them are stupid, but I really think that I can find a good project and make the most of it. It will certainly be more fulfilling than an entry level engineering desk job at some company making a new gadget, if even I am only getting the experience of a new country.
I am looking into some more organizations as well. VSO seems interesting (www.vsocan.org) but the website is kind of vague and does not seem to be accepting applications for the youth program yet. I have a list of organizations that the Dean of global studies at WPI sent me that I need to sift through this break to see if I can get some other options there, but yeah that is my next step in life. Any thoughts?