Friday, August 27, 2010

The REAL end

Today was my official last day at the Humanities Publication Center. After today, the only time BYU will want to see or hear from me is when I am making a donation to the school.

To be honest, I had a really hard time getting myself to go to work today. It wasn't because I was dreading the end; it was because I just plain didn't want to drive up to campus. I worked at home the week after graduation, and when I came back to campus on Monday, it just felt . . . weird. It was as if the BYU campus knew that I had a diploma and therefore didn't need the warm fuzzies it offered before. BYU will always be a home of sorts to me, but I don't really belong there anymore.

So driving up every day this week has been quite a chore. (Actually, I like the drive up. It's the actual working part that I didn't want to do.) I am done with BYU—what's the point in prolonging the end?

But I went to work today anyway because I had a few last-minute InDesign changes to make, and I needed to make sure I had cleaned out all of my stuff. And I knew I would regret it if I skipped out on my last day of work. :)

Just as I was about to walk into the office, I ran into my boss (who I haven't even seen for like 2 months). He then informed me that we were going to have a little party as soon as Rachel got back, to celebrate my last day. (Hmmm, that makes it sound like he was anxious to get rid of me . . . )

So an hour or so later, we met in the office next to Mel's and we had the last Food Friday that I will ever attend. Even better, the theme today was sweet rolls. Yummy. Mel gave me the one with the most frosting.

Then he pulled me into his office and started giving me all of these names and numbers and all sorts of networking tips. Let me just say that I am feeling a whole lot better about my job-searching endeavors just because I had the blessing of working with Mel Thorne for almost two years.

When I took this job at the beginning of Winter 2009, I was excited to be able to kill two birds with one stone—providing an income I could live off of while gaining editing experience. But the job ended up being so much more than that. I made good friends, I always had a good place to work/study, and I learned a lot about myself as not just an editor, but as a person. However, it was my boss that made the experience beyond good. Every now and then he would invite me to his office and we would talk about jobs, editing, my work, and the future. He always made me feel like I had a lot to offer and he genuinely wanted to help me in whatever I was working on. I was extremely lucky to have such a good mentor during such an important time of my life. I would have to put the things he taught me on the list of most valuable things anyone has ever taught me, right up there with the things I have learned from my parents and grandparents and an inspired seminary teacher, Brother Gividen.

So thanks to my awesome boss, I am sad to leave his editing family and go out on my own, but I also know that I am well prepared. Not only do I have the skills, but I also I have confidence in my skills, something I didn't have much of before Mel took me under his wing. I'll miss the random conversations and ranting sessions with my co-workers, and I'll miss our impressive wall (which includes commendations, funny published editing errors, a huge Harry Potter article published in the Daily Universe, and our Funny Names List), but alas, all good things must come to an end.

As I was walking to the JKB today, I was annoyed to find myself in a huge, slow-moving crowd of new freshmen. We finally got rid of the EFY kids only to replace them with freshmen. However, I must admit that the freshman I ran into today were MUCH more well behaved than the EFY kids. Holy cow.

Anyway, I found myself empathizing with their anticipation and anxiety and smiling as I remembered what it was like to go to a huge college all on my own. As much as freshmen may deserve their bad rep, I felt quite fond of them today as I was walking back to my car. I've had my run here—now it's their turn to take over. It's their turn to experience all the things that 4 years of college can teach them. Having survived those years already, I have a lot of respect for them because of what they are about to go through.

So, the real end of my BYU career has come and gone. Now it's on to bigger and better things. A few weeks ago I didn't think that anything could possibly be better than BYU, but I have broadened my horizon a bit. There is so much out there waiting to be discovered and experienced. The freshmen can have my school—I'm ready to tackle something else.

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