Yesterday, someone found this blog by searching for “miserable in peace corps should I ET.” It’s not the first time. There is no blanket answer to this question, of course. But here are some things to think about:
- How long have you been miserable? Every moment since you arrived? For the last couple of weeks?
- Could this be a mental health issue? Have you faced depression or seasonal affective disorder in the past? Realistically, you are unlikely to be able to locate the mental health resources you need in a country that needs Peace Corps volunteers.
- Have you talked to your Peace Corps office? A lot of people are afraid to talk to their Peace Corps teams because they don’t want to be sent home or seen as a malcontent, but the PC country team wants you to be happy and productive, and they want you to stay. (Aside from human decency, it looks bad for a country program to have a high percentage of volunteers that ET.) They can help make that happen.
If you want to talk this through, email me. I offer free coaching to all current and recently returned PCVs, because, honestly, I worry about you guys. I’ve never been a PCV myself; I did my unpaid labor in a different format. But you don’t build a development career without meeting hundreds of current and returned PCVs, and you deserve love and respect and support. Just go to the coaching scheduling page and sign up for a 15-minute slot, and include a note that this is actually a full length PCV session.
Finally, if you need permission to ET, I give it to you. If you are crushingly unhappy and don’t see any way to fix it, quit. Leave the Peace Corps. It’s okay. Your life will not be ruined. Sometimes things don’t work out and that’s all right. You will go on to succeed at other things.