It seems to be the start of the collegiate school year this week (senior year, might I add!) and I’m not going to be joining everyone in class. Nope, I’ll be on glorious co-op. I work at an investment firm downtown, right on the edge of Boston’s Financial District, overlooking the harbor. Yes, it is a dream location. It definitely also helps that I have Franzi, one of my sisters and friends, to have my morning coffee and afternoon lunch with on a regular basis. Makes it more cozy, don’t you think?
What I’ve learned by being at work for the past 2 months, with 4 months left on co-op:
- I like the independence. Not being on campus means having a lot more control over my time, even though that time is spent at work. It’s made me budget my time in the afternoon, after work, for all the extracurriculars and theses I have going on and be more prepared before I head to bed. It also makes me feel accomplished to know that I’m at a full-time job, fulfilling my role, and still keeping up with all the activities and interests I have [read: too many activities and interests] on my own time.
- Food trucks give me life. Dewey Square is right in front of my company’s headquarters, so Food Truck Friday is now my favorite day of the week. Bon Me is there on a daily basis, so the classic tofu sandwich sans pate is a staple meal during the week. Exploring Mei Mei, Stoked, and Clover as other options is definitely something I appreciate. You go to work and you realize you don’t want to walk far for lunch, and with Food Truck Fridays you really don’t need to if you’re in the area.
- People are really nice. My entire team is incredible, and funny. They took me out to drinks for my birthday, always offer to have lunch together, and have a lot of personal trust between each other. To join such a team for my one and only co-op is something I’m really thankful for; I imagined going through co-op and being happy with what I got, rather than really excited to go to work in the mornings. Not to mention, they let me decorate my cubicle to the extreme.
It’s nice to be on campus after work, rather than all the time, because my commitments feel a little calmer. I’m not expected to respond to emails because I don’t have wi-fi. And the world still isn’t falling apart, who knew? It lets me take a step back and focus on myself, which as you can tell from my self-care and wellness weekend is something I really need to do. One of my advisors said it’s really not optimal to roll into a new year, with so much work and major events planned, while on “E” like a car that needs gas. I completely agree, and I look at these 8 hours a day to refuel, recharge, and get back into the game at the end of the day. Plus, the head of my department reads my quote wall (and who knows? Maybe even this blog!) stemming from all these readings, RGC, and snapshots of these years. If that’s the mark I leave on my co-op, then this is a very happy start.