Your volunteer journey does not need to end when you return home! Stay in touch, stay motivated!
You spent so much time and effort preparing for your Lattitude Gap Year, and even more making the most of your volunteer placement abroad. Now that you have returned home though, what is next?
It can be a bit of a shock to arrive home after your Gap Year, in fact some people experience ‘reverse culture shock’. After having been immersed so deeply in a new and different culture, returning home is likely to cause a shift in your perspectives on life and your values. This process can be as eye-opening as when you first arrived at your volunteer placement!
While you and your fellow volunteers had each other to lean on for support during your placement, readjusting to life at home can feel isolating. Family and old friends simply cannot fully appreciate your unique experience.
Staying engaged with Lattitude though is a great way to help overcome the challenges of returning home post-Gap Year! We LOVE hearing from and spending time with our alumni!
So here are a few ways to keep in touch and opportunities to talk about your experience:
Meet up with a Lattitude Team member for coffee
Take time to chat over the phone or Skype with a Lattitude Team member
Join Lattitude at a school presentation, information session and/or pre-departure event
Connect with prospective Lattitude volunteers to share your experiences
Tell your story on the Lattitude Blog
Other ways to help readjust to home:
Remember that, though your new perspectives and values may make readjusting to home more challenging, change is good!
Write about your experiences since returning home. This can be a great way to reflect on and process your thoughts and feelings, and ultimately better understand how to use your experiences for good
Get out of the house and rediscover your home city with fresh eyes!
Think global and act local by finding an organization in your area with a cause you believe in, and continue to volunteer
Put your experiences and open eyes to good use! Just because your Gap Year has come to an end does not mean your relationships with Lattitude and volunteering are over. There are countless ways to stay engaged and stay motivated!