Shifting Gears

todayDecember 7, 2022 13

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Shifting gears


I went from lugging 80lb wire spools up to the 4th floor of a new apartment complex, pale from inhaling wood shavings, to carrying a 5lb backpack and going to class in 68 degree air conditioning. The change has been drastic. 


Back in the day:                                                              These days:

8-14 hour work days. Four In – person classes two days a week. 
Average 12 thousand steps before lunch. Go up two flights of stairs to get to Anderson 218.
Pull wire in the bitter cold and in the dog days of summer.  Listen to lectures in air conditioned classrooms. 
Hammer drill through brick walls frequently.  Frequently, take online tests. 


As you can see this school thing will be much easier. Well, that’s what I used to think. What was really nice about my old job was I knew when I had to do something. I work from 6am – 4pm (or later) then workout and chill. Simple. 


The problem with school is you are never really done. Even when you finish a project or a quiz there is always something else that you should be doing. “Do I need to email this guy to set up an interview?” “That project is due tonight isn’t it!? ” There doesn’t seem to be any time to just turn off my brain. It doesn’t help that I still work, pay bills, and go to the gym everyday. Also, I like to have a social life. How irrational is that?! Aint nobody got time for it! 


Maybe, the old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side” holds some weight. Admittedly, I have wondered if I would have been better off if I stayed in the trades. I would always have a job, with good pay and I would know all of the handyman skills. I have gone down this train of thought before, just before I am sure I made the wrong decision, the bad times pop up in my mind again. Like the time I had a busted knee and had to carry dozens of wire spools up several flights of stairs or when we had to pull wire when it was 10 degrees outside with strong wind. I will say this: in situations like that you will seriously question your life choices. And no matter how difficult the conditions or the stress becomes there are still hard deadlines to meet. Sometimes this can all become a bit overwhelming. 

However you are not in it alone. You are always working with another person. Ironically, it is the difficulty that builds relationships with the people that are around you. There is a reason that the military makes bootcamp so difficult. Later on soldiers in war always say that they are fighting for the person next to them. That is because of shared misery. Relationships can help you get through anything. This new situation I am in is a little different though because I have such a different background:


What I know:                                                                What normal college students know:

How to hammer a drill. How to get hammered.
How to pull wire. How to pull all nighters.
How to use an impact drill. How to impact the world.

The relationships that I built in my old job really helped me get through the tougher times. I could really use some of that comradery now!

But how?

WikiHow recommends making Tik Toks. I know how to pick locks, but recording Tik Toks seems too foreign to me. Boring as I may be, this whole thing will be tricky.

Maybe I should try, cooking for the J-O-M-C? Or try to get by making memes that explain all of the problems that are trying. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m ready to burst. What’s worse is this course still has so much work left in it. I lost track again, wait I’m back again.

Finally I got it! I’ll work on some normal college student activities like hanging out and watching the game! Or maybe join a student club!? That seems to work for everyone else why not me?! That’s how I will fix this. I am going to get started on it tonight! Oh wait, today is Monday isn’t it? Ah man I have 3 assignments due tonight! 


Written by: Thomas Placzek

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