As I check off the boxes on my To-Do-Before-You-Leave List, I begin to feel the sadness surging through my mind about leaving this job.
I took this job up in October 2005, a year into my undergraduate program. I've been done with school since June 2008, but I feel like I've still been a student. Yeah, I graduated in 2008, and yes, I did move up in ranks with this position from Student Assistant, to Senior Student Assistant, to Student Leader, and now finally Service Desk Coordinator, but some where between the nine years of being in this department my growth was stunted.
Maybe because I have been walking the same stairs to my desk for the past 9 years. Maybe it's because I've eaten lunch at the same food court since I was a student studying in the food court. Maybe it's because when I left campus I still saw tons and tons of students on my alternate transportation to work. Maybe it's because I was shopping with the same students in UCSD sweatshirts at the wee hours of the night even after I graduated.
Somewhere in the past 9 years, I did not really sever the ties of student and staff. I feel like I'm still a student.
This job has offered me tons of life experience as a person and as a professional. I'm very lucky to have had the opportunity to grow in this environment, especially with the amount of flexibility and freedom that I was given from the start.
It's such a bittersweet moment when I realize that I'm leaving all I've known for 9 years.
But it's definitely much sweeter knowing that I am moving on towards a career in the field that I want to be in, that will not require hours of commuting, or meeting about subjects that do not pierce my interest, or attending conferences that are less interesting than the food provided at the social hour, or being around absolutely wonderful people that are crass, sarcastic, and fun to be around, but are not interested in what I want to do.
It's been a long ride, but I'm ready to graduate. From a student, to the real world.