The Importance of Connections

Throughout the past couple of weeks, I have had a lot of big decisions that were made. Some involved summer jobs and some involved I was going to do with my life after graduation on May 17th. It seems like every day I am on the phone with my mom for reassurance that some of my decisions are what’s best for me. It’s hard to try and move forward when I’m so attached to my life here in Columbia, but looking back on my decision four years ago to come to this school, I realize that starting then, I began an incredibly independent life with decisions I made on my own. I had scholarships presented to me from other schools, as well as “best” friends that were going to schools close to home, but something about Mizzou was calling my name. 

I obtained my first part time job in the fall of my freshman year, and began in the spring semester. Because I work for a before and after school program, my mornings started at 6, and my days would end 12 hours later when I got in my car after the PM shift. In the middle of the two, I had classes as well as maintaining a social life with my friends. I was building connections for classes as well as trying to make new friends. Networking throughout freshman year was so important to me because I didn’t want to be a bum that sat around in my dorm. Ever since high school, I made sure that I had a “friend” in each class so that studying was made a bit easier for myself, but it also brushed up on my communication skills. I made my job just like that. I have been close with the staff at Midway Heights Adventure Club for almost four years now, and am so thankful for that built in support system. They are my rock on so many tough days, they are the sane opinions i need when I don’t know which way to go, and they’re comic relief when the grey clouds seem to hover for a bit too long. Though we have had people coming and going each year, I am so thankful for the experience that they’ve given me. I also love the fact that I was able to connect my co-worker with a concert friend of mine this past week and he was able to see his favorite singer live for a second time, for free. It made me feel so happy knowing he was having one of the best nights of his life. 

On a different level of connection, I had the most bizarre quitting of a job a couple of weeks ago. First semester I took on a second job as a facility assistant at the auditoriums on campus, and it was really….unique. Though it wasn’t what I thought when I applied for the job, I was working with the greatest people on all levels. There were many late nights spent waiting for shows to end and for us to clean up, as well as a clogged toilet here and there, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Unfortunately, I took on my author job at Literally, Darling and picked up two more AC shifts this last semester, so I had to quite my FA job. When I went into my boss’s office, he knew what was happening because I hadn’t been in to work in a couple of months, but he still was really nice. In fact, he asked me what I was going to do with myself, and when he found out I want to write, told me that he might be able to set me up with a magazine this summer. Sure enough, after sending him a follow up e-mail, I received an e-mail from the woman in charge of the magazine letting me know that she would love to have me help with the writing. It was such an amazing feeling of gratitude towards my former boss, because he didn’t have to hand me another job after I walked in to quit with him, but he told me that through everything, he appreciated me as a worker and would still help me out with references and what not down the road. Not only is this sheer luck to land this kind of man in my life, but an incredible amount of thankfulness for having this connection. 

When I take a step back, I realize that getting places outside of your comfort zone (highly recommended for those wanting to mature and actually grow up) is more than possible through connections you make. Try if you can to talk to people and ask the right questions. It’s phenomenal what can come if you’re both curious and honest!

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