Going on a mission can be a difficult decision. Coming home from a mission can be even more difficult.
I completed my mission and returned home after the semester had started at my university. I planned to re-enroll that fall, but it meant that I have six months of time that didn’t fit into my plan. I had to do something that I hadn’t done in awhile — I had to make a plan for myself and my life.
Many returned sister missionaries experience these same emotions. Recently, the Women’s Services and Resources Office on Brigham Young University campus surveyed recently returned missionaries and learned that the post-missionary life transition can often be more difficult than many assume. Young women expressed their challenges from using their time wisely to maintaining a level of spirituality to even how to get back into the social scene.
It’s hard to make that transition. Luckily, you learned the skills to handle this change while you were a missionary.
As a missionary, you met weekly with your companion to set goals. You thought about your investigators and what they would need to do to progress that week. You created a plan so that they could reach those goals.
Within a few weeks of returning home, you should take a minute and take inventory of your life. Think of yourself as if you are your own investigator. What do you want to accomplish in your life? Write these thoughts down in a journal or somewhere that you can continue to make a plan. Make sure you’re considering all aspects of your life — spiritual, educational, practical, and emotional. Once you have the large goals, starting writing down the tasks that you need to do to reach that goal.
Here are just a few ideas to help you get started:
- Attend the temple weekly
- Study scriptures for 30 minutes a day
- Ask my bishop for a calling
- Take classes that fit my interests
- Talk to someone I trust about my course of study
- Read books, newspapers, magazines
- Listen to music that uplifts
- Make time to exercise
- Track your spending and make a budget for food, clothing, and school.
- Set aside time to meditate
- Schedule time to do something for me.
- Serve one person each day.
These are just a few ideas that can help you as you make the transition. Many people struggle to fill their time with good activities. Others struggle with doing too many things and become burnt out. Your life is now an infinite series of personal choices instead of the structured life you lead. You can take what you’ve learned as a missionary and become better than you were before.