Lessons Learnt on the Job

It just hit me that I have just one month left at my job. I’ve been working as a supplemental instruction leader for almost 3 years, and the thought of not seeing the people I work with all the time makes me very sad.I was so terrified of this job when I started, but now I count it as the best decision I made in my college career. Without it I might have never had the courage to apply to an MFA program. I’ve learnt so much and I want to share a few of the lessons with you.

1. Fear means Go

I used to be terrified of public speaking. I still am, but I’m also in love with it! My job forces me to give presentation regularly and I’ve realised that I love the entire process of coming up with ideas, using them to create a coherent narrative and presenting it to an audience in a manner that will keep them engaged. This translates to most parts of my jobs. The things that terrified me in the beginning are now the parts of my job I love most. They are the experiences I learnt the most from. Fear does not mean hide. It means prepare to grow.

2.Do whatever makes your eyes light up

This one I learnt from my students. I work in sophomore world literature classes and the course is a core class so a lot of people in the classes are not english majors and have absolutely no interest whatsoever in literature. When you talk to them about literature, their eyes glaze over. But when you ask them about biology, or accounting or whatever it is they do, their eyes light up and all of a sudden you can’t stop the deluge of information tumbling out of their mouths. I watched my students do this for 2 years, and each time I saw their eyes light up, I thought “I want that.” I knew what lit my soul on fire, but I didn’t have the courage to say it. I watched them and I envied until i realised the only thing standing in my way was me.

3. Perhaps love does come softly

For too long, I subscribed to Oprah’s “Aha moments”. I thought that when something is meant to be, there would be sparks the second I encountered it and it would be a perfect relationship from that point. If I had stuck to that theory, I would have quit my job after a week. But I pushed through the struggles as the beginning and eventually fell in love with the job. I’m glad I was patient enough to see it through.

One month! The last four months have gone by so fast. I guess time flies by when you’re having fun and I’ve really been having fun bingeing on Netflix and library books and occasionally going to work. Too bad that at the end of it all is a long string of goodbyes.


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