Student in a new environment: The 9-5 life


I spent my summer interning with the County Road Association of Michigan in downtown Lansing. I was the only one of all my friends to not take any summer classes, so after 5:00 pm every day I was done. Although I was working more hours than I ever have in my life, I had so much free time! So much, in fact, that I was able to watch seasons 1-6 of Game of Thrones in only four weeks! I’m a little ashamed but also proud of that accomplishment. While I enjoyed the free time, it reminded me how much we do as students. We have so much more than just classes, a part time job, extra-curriculars, volunteer work and a social life. The time being a student requires is so much more than the sum of its parts—during the school year I never have a free hour when there isn’t something else I could be doing. That’s not a bad thing, it keeps us on our toes and stops us from being lazy. The trick will be to keep that busy-body mindset in our careers without getting burnt out. After I enter the workforce, I plan to find something to occupy my off-the-clock time that I enjoy. Work-life balance is so important, and so is being satisfied with the time and effort you contribute, both in your job and on your own time. I can’t give much other career-life advice because I’m not there yet, but I can confidently say life will feel very different post-graduation. That seems obvious, but it can take you by surprise when you suddenly don’t have any more classes after that’s all you’ve done for your entire life. It will be different, but different isn’t bad, it’s exciting!

By: Riley Smith


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