I am 126 days into the Peace Corps application process. I have passed all of my clearances and am waiting to hear from the placement office. As I have finished each stage in the application process, the fact that I am fulfilling this dream of joining the Peace Corps has become more of a reality. I am excited and I can't wait to have my invitation in hand. This excitement, however, has made way for a plague that most Peace Corps applicants know very well - Restless Applicant Syndrome.
Restless Applicant Syndrome (RAS) is very real and extremely debilitating. RAS occurs in Peace Corps applicants who are engaging in the long and arduous waiting game associated with the application process. Symptoms include: anxiety, emotional outbursts, nervous twitching, irrational thoughts, self-doubt, and lack of focus. Work becomes increasingly difficult as the applicant tries to calculate ways to contact Peace Corps to find out about their application status. Obsessive reading of Peace Corps Journals is commonplace. Compulsive taking of certification courses has been known to occur in some applicants. Obscurity in the application process only exacerbates RAS. And, although the Peace Corps office tells applicants to be patient as this waiting game teaches skills needed for service, this will not comfort an applicant with RAS. The only known cure for RAS is an invitation.
If you or someone you know suffers from RAS, rest assured that you are not alone. I am with you.
P.s. Peace Corps Placement Office, if you are reading this, please help alleviate my RAS by getting in touch with me. Even a standard form letter would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.