Having graduated just about two weeks ago, my blog posts are coming to an end, but I thought I’d leave my readers with some final thoughts. Last post, I talked a little bit about my impending doom and not being sure what would happen after graduating from Emmanuel. Well, as it turns out, this institution just can’t get rid of me that fast. I’ve accepted a full-time position as a Support Center Analyst I at the Emmanuel College IT Helpdesk where I will continue to work with our awesome department and have the opportunity to take on some more responsibility as a staff member. Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey, don’t you have a degree in Biology? What about those turtles you like so much?” Let me be the first to say 1) Can’t you just be happy for me? I have a job! 2) I truly like this job and all it has to offer 3) Biology is definitely still in the plan.
It’s been a hot second since I’ve made a post as this is a busy time of year (I just passed in a really fancy hypothetical grant proposal). I am also probably avoiding talking about my life because it feels like May 13th marks my impending doom. Let me be clear, I have no reason to feel this way about graduation, but transitional periods are difficult for everyone. For any senior in high school reading this blog, I know you may be feeling similarly. And yet, there’s a refreshing awareness of how exciting it will be to start fresh! There are so many new opportunities and experiences ahead of you. Whether you come to Emmanuel, attend another college or decide to end your academic career to pursue a professional one, there’s so much to look forward to.
I’m incredibly grateful for the time I’ve gotten to spend running around my favorite city and connecting with the students, staff and faculty at Emmanuel. From singing every week with my favorite a cappella group, Acapocalypse, to learning a multitude of valuable skills working at the IT Helpdesk, to yelling at students in the cafeteria who still don’t how to compost, it’s hard to imagine the person I was before came to Boston to study Biology. Read more
In the last month or so, I had become extremely invested in figuring my life out. I’m not sure why I felt the need to have every aspect of my future set – I’m twenty years old, I don’t need to start thinking about a 401k. But still, with sophomore pinning rounding the corner and an official major set, I decided that it was time to transition from college student into a functioning member of society.
My plan began with deciding to find a Real Adult Job. For years up until now, I worked as a waitress at a country club. It was perfect for those years; the tips were great, my hours were flexible, but I felt like it was time to move on. I had risen up the totem pole from new girl to the last remaining of the original staff. My parents, one a corporate director and the other the owner of a business, agreed wholeheartedly that yes! A Real Adult Job would be a great thing!
It should very much go without saying that remaining professional during an internship is extremely important to exiting the position in high regards (and with excellent reference letters). Most of this is pretty easy and self-explanatory such as wearing appropriate clothing, minding your manners and not falling asleep at your desk. However, there are definitely aspects of a professional work environment that can be intimidating the first time you experience them. I bring this up because I was recently evaluated at the Aquarium by my supervisor. She is an example of something that intimidates me at my workplace. Don’t get me wrong, she’s lovely and we get along very well, but she’s really good at her job. She’s so exemplary as a Floor Manager in Visitor Education that I find my anxiety increases a little bit in her presence. This means I crack a lot of jokes during our conversations to make myself feel more at ease. The other day I sent her an email to ask her a question and I told her I hoped her week was going “swimmingly”.
Something that I’ve discovered about myself since I’ve come to Emmanuel is that I love helping people learn. Even in freshmen biology when my classmates were struggling with material, I found that I could usually explain the concepts to them with relative ease. As a preschool teaching assistant, I noted that kids especially learn best through sensory components. This makes a lot of sense to me, and I’ve adapted much of the way I speak with kiddos to 1) always ask them questions, and 2) show then tell. For example, one of the munchkins in my class asked me once what the detergent pods were that I was putting into the dishwasher. Simply telling him it was soap wasn’t going to make much sense from his perspective. So, I got him a cup of warm water and a spoon so we could see what happened when he dropped it in and stirred. I wafted it up to him and asked what it smelled like, to which he replied, “laundry.” Sometimes they get there.
Ever since I visited Boston, I knew that I wanted to live here at some point in my life. It didn’t occur to me early in my high school career that I could have the opportunity to study here for my four college years. Every story is the same: I came to my dream school/city/town, I met so many wonderful people in my college career, and now I hope to extend my skills in my professional career. So far, I have done all those things. But what has made my time worthwhile in Boston and at Emmanuel is the cultural aspect that surrounds me everywhere I go. A simple two-minute conversation at my favorite coffee shop, (Neighborhoods) with a professor or fellow student at many of the surrounding schools truly ties in the atmosphere that had appealed to me so much when I was picking colleges. The extension of the classroom in life lessons and conversations is what has made my time here so much more than what I had expected a year and a half ago.
We were told to sleep during the day as much as possible, since from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. we would be wide-awake. This wasn’t a problem at all for me; although I remember thinking it was kind of weird to hop in bed late mid-day with my alarm set to wake me up around eight in the evening. My hands were still stained purple and pink, results of tie dying team shirts a few days before. In my head, I repeated the dance that we had to learn to be done every hour on the hour. I wasn’t sure what to expect, or even if I could make it the entire 12 hours locked inside the gym. Emmanuel College’s Dance Marathon (ECDM) had officially begun.
Last summer I was fortunate enough to take a study-abroad marine microbiology course at Emmanuel with Dr. March (one of my favorite faculty members here). After the lecture portion in the Spring, we got the opportunity to travel to Australia to conduct field research as well as explore both Sydney and Queensland. I always knew I would like field work, but after snorkeling and diving at the Great Barrier Reef, I realized I had a real affinity for marine biology. This, among other things, inspired me to pursue an internship at the New England Aquarium and I have yet to regret it!
Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of an aquarium intern is? No? Feel free to read this anyways!