Reflections on Living Alone and the Ninetofive

A taste of the real world, adult life, growing up – I’d say that’s what this summer was at its core. I signed my first sublease to a studio apartment (messed up filling out the check #awkward), took the CTA to my nine-to-five internship, and used the office word “meeting” way too much. While I grew my professional skill set tremendously at work (no more mousey voice when talking to co-workers, learned microsoft outlook, made lasting connections, etc), I realized the most engaged and challenged I felt all summer was the week I took to write a research-based, scholarship essay on why retaining women in STEM careers is such a problem in the United States. Reading a bunch of books on a fascinating topic, forming my own opinion, organizing my thoughts into words, and presenting the information to others who are interested – that was the stuff that energized me, now that I reflect. I’m still not sure what to make of that discovery. We’ll see.

Projection Scoping 002

The view from my cubicle. Working in a historical building with its Grecian revival architectural elements still intact was the cherry on top. The stairs on the right leads up to storage, which contains thousands of old documents from the Zoo and a bunch of stuffed deer. The door on the left leads to endless coffee refills and the occasional catered leftovers from executive meetings which occur in the meeting room right next to my cube. #primerealestate

Summer 2013 039
The worst part about living alone wasn’t loneliness. It was the lack of anyone to judge me for being an absolute slob with my stuff. I accumulated a ton of old books (courtesy of Powell’s) and knickknacks over the summer. The free take-whatever-you-want pile by the elevator did not alleviate this problem.

Summer 2013 052

For two weeks (the essay writing time period), I woke up every morning at 5:30am – just as the sun would rise. Mornings are so peaceful. I’m going to tell everyone waking up early is horrible for you though, so no one will ruin the quiet stillness for me. Hands off! Mine.


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