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My last day of coop was the last Friday in August. It pretty much was like any other day of work. During my stay a few people had left for various reasons. My departure was a little different because it was planned from the beginning. The day I was hired I had a planned leave date. As long as I didn't fuck up too much I would leave at the end of August. I think a planned ending is much more comforting and easy to process than an unplanned one. It isn't a shock, it isn't a surprise, the end was known from a point in the past.
That doesn't mean it isn't completely stress free, endings and changes can still suck. Routine can bring a sense of comfort, wake up, go to work, go home, sleep, repeat. It's easy, it's formulaic, it doesn't require much thought. Changing the routine can be hard, and the longer the routine has been in place the harder it can be to change. I was only on coop for 8 months, a relatively short period of time compared to the amount of time I've been in college, or even formal education. I've pretty much been in school for the last 17 years of my life. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of my college education.
Endings are also bittersweet. Leaving coop was a mixture of relief and sadness. As stressful as it was sometimes being able to solve problems on a day to day basis is very rewarding. I pretty much dedicated myself to a singular goal for 8 months, I was leaving in the middle of a new project. I felt a little empty after leaving but I also knew working there prepared me for future endeavors.
And that's the upside to endings, it can mark beginnings. I've gotten into the habit of reformatting my computer right before the school year starts. It also happens to coincide with the latest releases of Windows which is pretty helpful. My important files are backed up, I always have a change to save anything important, and then I can start fresh. And by fresh I mean installing all the crap I had installed before. But I do get a chance to go over what I need and what I don't need. It's easy to get caught up in a bad routine because it's routine, because it's what we've done forever. It's always important to take time to reflect and change if necessary.
I would like to think I've changed for the "better" over the last 4 years of college. Better is hard to quantify, is it the amount of people I've helped, the quantity of lives I've improved, the number of small four legged animals I've saved? (I'm also partial to saving two legged, aquatic, and non mammalian creatures.) Maybe it's becoming more comfortable with who I am, accepting my limitations and findings creative ways around them, finding my weaknesses and improving on them, or maybe it's just getting surgery and becoming taller (fact: taller people are better, larger numbers are better, it's simple geometry).
I keep telling myself and other people that I plan on moving to California right after I graduate. My thought process is that the more I believe it's going to happen the more I'll actually try to make it happen. If I do make it out there I also know that I'm not planning on staying for more than 4 years. Plans do change but at least I have another somewhat known end date.
And then what's next? The plan is to come back to Boston. But who knows what could happen in the next 4 years. I don't even know what could happen in the next 8 months. I just need to make sure I have short term plans, long term plans, and a plan for the end.