At some point during or after college every single person should move back in with their parents.
Three months ago, I would have called myself out as a liar for saying something like that.
How could a step backwards ever help my future? How could I just give up my freedom and independence? Why would you ever want to return to the high school version of yourself? (Unless, of course, you peaked there.)
For the last three months, I’ve been working towards completing my first co-op in my hometown. And I like being home. It is nice to just sit back and let dinners be planned for you. It’s nice to let the laundry just magically appear in neatly folded piles day after day. It’s nice to not have to worry about cramming for a test and just find comfort in the constant 9-to-5.
My life is free of almost all stress. Work related problems end after I leave work. I don’t have to stay up all night to finish a project due in class the next day. If I need to, I can take a day off of work without feeling like I missed an important concept that makes up 60 percent of the final.
Whereas Drexel feels like a sprint through the ten week term, co-op feels like a jog through an oasis. I cannot stress how nice the money is as well, especially coupled with the fact that I don’t have to pay for rent or food. Loans feel less looming when you are making regular payments towards them.
Yes, this co-op is so incredibly relaxing. But it’s also incredibly boring.
Everyone I know is at Drexel, doing things with their nights as I am going to bed early to wake up for my job in the morning. I’ve begun to feel left behind, like everyone out there is working toward something that they love while I have plateaued. My friends can’t talk because it is “finals week” when for me it’s just another Wednesday.
I want to go back more than anything right now. This time away has just made me hungrier to succeed. All of my priorities that were getting lost with the constant grind of classes have been refocused in the face of stagnation.
I don’t really want to be at home anymore. I want to be out there doing research in my field. I want to be talking to the people that think like me and share my interests. I want to be free to play soccer at 3 a.m. with a bunch of friends and watch the sunrise.
Taking a step backwards has only made me more ready to jump those two steps forward and then leap any hurdles along the way. If I was burned out before co-op, I am now rekindled. The excitement of the first day of freshman year is back, but even more so because I know what to expect and can be ready for it.