Jonathan P. Larsen
So I can’t believe I’m just getting to my second blog post now. I used to post on student media almost every day, and now I haven’t had time in twenty-seven days? Alright, so maybe I’ve had half an hour here or there – but not much more. The truth is, ‘Working in Washington’ (while networking, doing homework, having class, participating in volunteer work and attending programming) is flat-out exhausting.
I can definitely see how people get into a funk, and I can see how “the real world” can get the reputation for being a downer. Days can be long, the metro can definitely be smelly, and living in the city can sometimes make you feel a little claustrophobic when you’re used to a pretty big campus with hills or living in the country. Heck, sometimes as college students we find that mundane and we have a different schedule every day.
When I was getting on-air training, I was tasked with telling the camera about my morning commute for 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, then 4 minutes. I stumbled through it and wracked my brain for details because admittedly I would allow myself to zombify for those extra 3o minutes before beginning work.
After that test, I realized everyone tells a story while sitting on that train in the morning without uttering a word and I started looking at things a little differently.
I cross paths with all types of people on my daily commute. Some of them clench to their coffee for dear life as they slouch into their seat on the metro, others are fast asleep to get a few precious moments of rest, while some are reading the paper and are happily listening to music. Your job can be a sentence, or it can be your purpose – it’s always up to you.
In my first post about interviewing I stressed enthusiasm. Honestly, that’s still some of the only advice I’ve got since I’m new to this whole professional world thing. The saying goes “Fake it ’til you make it”, but if you force yourself to do it enough, it just becomes habit.
On your worst days when everything is going wrong, your computer is crashing and you feel overwhelmed, be excited.
When your supervisor asks you to come in early or stay late, you don’t have to be excited necessarily, but don’t hesitate to say yes.
When you’re given a chance to learn a new skill, even if you feel like a fool for fumbling with a program others have been using for years, be grateful for the opportunity.
When you walk into the hallway and almost get hit with a tennis ball because the hall has suddenly been turned into a cricket field by one of your supervisors (speaking from experience here), laugh and be glad for the simple moments you’ll remember.
The first thing we were told when we arrived was that it would be a “transformative experience”. Sure, I saw it as a transformation for my resume, but I didn’t think the little moments I described above could change my perspective that much.
Any time you leave a place, you appreciate what you had – but this semester I’m working on appreciating what I have right in front of me.
Carpe diem, everyone.