Real people work one job from 9-5. They drive to the office every day, probably in a reliable car with a “Drake alumni” decal (in my world, anyway).
At the beginning of the year, I had it all figured out. In May, I would begin a full-time job with standard hours and a steady paycheck. I would drive to work. That’s what real people do, and damn it, I’m nearing real-people-dom, with my graduation approaching in December.
Forever on the brink of fledgling adulthood, I wanted to meet my preconceived definition. That would prove I’m ready for the ‘real world,’ right? But the year turned out dramatically different — and I’m content.
Rather than drive to work, I ride the bus. Rather than work one job from 9-5, I work two part-time jobs and three on-and-off freelance writing and videography gigs.
Though I initially dreaded rambling off each job when asked the inevitable question, “What are you doing this summer?” I’ve come to embrace and even appreciate the array. Job-hopping proved to be exactly what I needed.
I devoted nearly all my time and energy last semester to two beloved publications, Think Mag and The Times-Delphic. Though I gained a wealth of practical experience and fondly remember my time with both, I often felt trapped in the grueling cycle of each publication.
Job-hopping, however, has allowed me to try a wide variety of skills and projects. Yet again, my pesky (but ultimately dear) friend chaos has returned and proved a beautiful part of my life.
In a ‘typical’ workday at the Science Center of Iowa, I sometimes go from producing video to editing a blog post to writing a press release to pinning periodic table puns (comedic gold, I swear). And that’s only job No. 1. After that, I might update an Excel spreadsheet at job No. 2 before heading to a local softball diamond to cover a high school game for The Des Moines Register.
Along the job-hopping way, I’ve created my own definition of real-people-dom. Rather than a realm defined by a practical car, regular paycheck and “Bulldog Pride” auto decal, real-people-dom, I’ve realized, can be whatever I make it — screeching Dart bus brakes, periodic-table jokes and homeruns included.
I hope to eventually trade my job-hopping habit for something a little closer to the aforementioned definition, but whatever I do, I know I don’t need to meet a predetermined definition of adulthood. I can create my own definition of it. Well, fledgling adulthood, anyway.