My First Job

The first full week of classes is over, and honestly, it feels like I’m already much further into the semester. It feels like a lot of time has passed even though it hasn’t even been two weeks, and I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or not yet, but I’m trying to keep myself going and moving forward as best as I can. Moving on…

It’s all about your mindset.

I need to shy away from negative thoughts and influences as much as I can. I figure that if I change my perception, then the way I experience life will also change; I need to be more positive.

For example, my first job: I worked at a juice/smoothie bar in the summer. More often than not, people would seek refuge from the heat in our small establishment, and treat themselves to refreshing juices, fruity smoothies, coffees, teas, sandwiches, bagels, muffins, and more, more, and more. Because New York has very hot summers, more often than not, there would be people going in and out all day, with short breaks of silence that allowed me and my coworkers to take a breather and prepare for the next swarm of customers to pile into the small space in front of the counter. It was often hectic, messy, sometimes stressful, and my boss coming in randomly to check on us and deliver extra supplies would often make it even more difficult to work efficiently. I heard complaints about the job on the part of several of my coworkers about this and that, and I was always exhausted by the time my shift was over. And yes, it was true, sometimes the job irritated me because I didn’t get my schedule for the week until the day before, or because sometimes I was immensely swamped with work while my coworkers would stand around doing nothing, when really we were all supposed to work as a team. Annddd a few other things…

But you know what? I loved it!

I loved the few minutes of break we got when nobody was placing orders, just enough time to have a snack and clean up the work stations. I loved the feeling of accomplishment when someone would tell me they liked the drinks I made them, or seeing regular customers and remembering their orders, and when they thanked me for that. I loved the sharing of stories with coworkers, bonding over the cleanup of spilled smoothies, singing along to the radio together, and the team effort that went into looking for the bathroom key after it was misplaced. I loved how quirky my boss was and how she never failed to make me feel better.

My experience was one I won’t forget; it was my first job after all. But also, along with my first internship I had a few weeks ago, it made me realize how one’s perspective on something really affects what they take away from it. I recall one of my coworkers saying how she couldn’t wait to get out of there and get a better job. Yes, it’s good to look forward to a new, potentially better job, but at the same time.. dreading the work and counting down the days until one is finally free from it? It’s hard to take away something positive from an experience with that kind of mindset. Despite the sometimes smoothie stained shirts, painful encounters with the orange juicer, and some days with hardly a single break from the madness that ensued due to long lines of customers–I will truly miss my job.

I worked during the school year on the weekends after summer ended, and I gave my two weeks notice by the end of December. It was time to move on; my courses this semester are very challenging (chemistry in particular), and in preparation of that, I decided it would be best for me to focus primarily on that. Between my last Saturday at work and the first day of classes, I managed to find and land my first internship–a wonderful experience I will possibly address in more detail sometime in the future, but I’m not going to go on about it now.

My point is that due to the way I have been approaching my experiences recently, thinking back on them, I remember the good parts more than the bad, and I allow myself to grow. And yes, maybe it does sound corny, but I am honestly so glad to have gotten the privilege to be a part of those teams, and to learn from the environment and those around me.

I also learned how to make better smoothies and juices, and I sure am glad for that as well! I do wonder what’s in store for me at my next job and internship, and although I haven’t even started to apply for either yet, I’m already excited at the thought of a new experience. For now though, it’s time to get back to some chemistry problems; I didn’t think I’d ever say this but, math, I sure did miss you.

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