After I graduated in May 2015, I was ready to have the best summer ever! But then the harsh reality of getting a job hit me and I realized what am I going to do? My dad had told me plenty of times I had no choice I would be getting a job and of course I needed one with how much college was going to cost. But he gave me an ultimatum, I could either try to find a job on my own or I would be working at a nearby factory who hires just out of high school college help. Of course I applied everywhere I could but not having much of a resume did not help, I had never had a job before.
So after a few weeks I was headed over to International Paper for orientation and I was far from excited. I was one of the lucky ones though, I got put on 8 hour shifts and instead of packing cups or lids (which is what most people do) I was part of the warehouse staff. I had no idea what to expect but I can honestly say it was not as bad as I thought. My first day I scrapped cups which is when one takes the plastic off a row of cups and then throws them in a bin over and over. It was boring and repetitive but for $10 an hour was not awful. Throughout the summer the factory was adding on so I also helped with painting safety poles, border lines, sweeping and dusting, and I was even able to do some paperwork (in air conditioning!). So what I learned...
Factory life is not for me
It was a nice summer job, but I could not scrap cups all day, everyday for the rest of my life. It was also brutally hot, stuffy, gave me dry skin from touching so much paper, and getting dirty was unavoidable which is not my thing.
Not all people have good intentions
So this may sound bad, and do not get me wrong I am not saying people who work in factories are bad, I did meet a lot of nice people there! But after talking to some people you find out real quick that adults still really enjoy drama like high schoolers, everybody's business is spread around like wildfire. And you may think a people are being nice but they may just be being creepy. (I had a man much older than me trick me into giving him my number, gross!) I definitely learned who to keep my distance from.
It's all about who you know
I was one of the youngest people who worked there, but getting to know my supervisors helped me get to do much better things than scrapping cups. I was always picked before any of my other employees (even ones who were actually going to work there past the summer) to do jobs like painting or paperwork. It also helped when I needed some money over winter break, I was able to email my supervisor and he got me right back in.
Many people don't get the point of college
I had always thought everybody had the same opinion as me, thinking college was the best thing to do. But, I definitely have my long list of reasons of why I'm going to college ready at any time because I was asked so much. Many people who work in factories may not have a college education so they don't understand the point of spending that much money when you can be working somewhere without going. Working there teaches you quickly why you're going.
How to adult
This may be just from getting a job in general, but I feel like being thrown into an environment with a lot of working adults really matures you. I had never had a supervisor or coworkers so I learned how to interact with them. I had also never done something for eight hours straight so that was an accomplishment in itself. I had to learn how to balance work, sleep and friends which is actually really difficult but I guess that's part of adulting.
Sleep is super important
I have always been one to get a lot of sleep. But after working in a factory I learned how important it really is. I actually worked with someone who fell asleep on the job and got in huge trouble because of it. Also, being in a factory you always have to be on alert, if you are walking around like a zombie, not paying attention, you can get hurt.
Working in a factory got me really excited to go college because I really did not want to work in a factory any longer. It also helps me to push myself, if I'm doing bad in a class I just tell myself do I really wanna work in a factory, scrapping cups everyday?