Falken: Taking the plunge into the working world not so bad


I never quite know how to feel about spring. On the one hand, the weather gets warmer so just walking out the front door no longer compels me to scream a combination of obscenities not before known to man. I’m sure my neighbors appreciate that. On the other hand, the changing of the season has always meant a change in life style. I am a bit older than most people who still consider themselves serious students but not too old that spring and summer symbolize a season of refreshment, when all the stress of the school year relent and you can finally breathe again.

For you, the reader, I can’t say who you are or how you may feel about another school year ending.

For me, this will be my first year of full-time employment. My schedule doesn’t change much at all save for the sun will be visible through the windows of my workplace. I always knew this day would come, and I did everything I could to avoid it, but I am afraid it is finally here.

I’ll stop short of saying I am a grown-up. My bedroom is almost indiscernible from that of a 17-year-old. For me, the real world always seemed like the horizon; always in the distance but never to be reached.

Growing up and going to school, life always felt like I was on a fixed track, following the steps in order and on time. I always thought leaving the track would mean leaving the summer’s rejuvenating effects behind too. That never having time to take a breath meant suffocating and dying.

I am happy to report that is not the case exactly. While the season to season schedule did change, so did my perspective on it. I came to realize instead of teachers’ and parents’ guiding influence over my life was transferred to me. Now when I go to work it’s not just to keep my parents off my back, it’s to keep a roof over my head and fill it with the things I want. Now when I sit down to write it is not to meet some requirement for a class, it is for my own enjoyment.

I had to make some concessions along the way. My window for becoming the Twins’ third baseman has probably shut, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get a few friends together and throw the ball around.

I do not know how other people will take the plunge into the working world. I do know that what it is and what I thought it would be are different. Not totally different, I get tired of working five or more days a week. I do wish I could get three months off to hang out at the lake and ride my bike to the video store. I changed too. I know that for all my summer memories at the swimming pool, I still spent most of my days sitting in front of the television.

Growing up was not such a magical time that a change would be the end of everything. It’s just an evolution. I do not even know what I would do in a sandbox today. Probably just dust myself and head into work early. I often warn people about the tricks nostalgia can play on the mind and I still catch myself yearning for the days of my youth. At least now that I have stepped off the track I know that autonomy is nothing to be afraid of.

Allen is a journalism graduate student. Reach him at [email protected]