Sometimes I feel like I’m waiting for the wind at this halfway-through-college stage of my life. One foot is in school and the other is tiptoeing into the real world. Friends are growing older and pursuing their individual dreams. One is off studying abroad in New Zealand, while another juggles an internship, retail job, and babysitting. There’s a palpable aging as we approach junior year. Summer reunions with high school friends bring waves of nostalgia as the warm memories we have so often laughed about sail a bit farther away. But as daunting as growing up seems, there are hidden pockets of excitement that make it all the while worth it.
Growing up can bring a shifting of priorities. Although late-night social gatherings are a blast, being well rested and ready for work takes the forefront. In college, you can miss an 8 a.m. lecture, because it only affects you in the end. But in the real world, there’s no skipping the early morning ferry—you’re part of a team. A team holds you accountable, and that’s where purpose pulls you out of bed. A team is built on transparency, communication, and hard work. We all support each other, working together to meet deadlines. Being on a team gives me the electrifying momentum to meet their expectations. The team diminishes my fear of being thrown into the real world on my own. Being an intern at Firewood helps me deal with this newfound duality of the excitement of being an adult combined with the fear of leaving the all too familiar.
When we were kids, our awareness reached only as far as our eyes could; it was comforting and safe. Growing up can Include a lot of reminiscing and dreaming of these simpler times—but growing up can also be vibrant and exciting.
Part of what makes growing up exciting is the opportunity to learn new things. At school, I’m studying advertising and taking classes on branding, creative brief development, and the conceptualization and execution of ads through different mediums–to name a few subjects. In the summer break, I am interning at Firewood, taking these concepts and exploring them on a deeper level. I get to meet real (yes, real!) copywriters, project managers, and art directors on a daily basis.
From last summer to now, I’ve seen Firewood double in size and maintain the welcoming culture that Lanya and Juan, Firewood’s founders, have carefully fostered. You can feel just how happy each person is to come to work each day, and that energy flows across the teams. It’s an exceptional experience, learning from and working alongside skilled creators and collaborators. All the while, I’m picking up that life beyond college isn’t so scary, but rather it’s incredibly open and empowering.
I can see myself more clearly through my experiences at Firewood, and I know that I’m studying the right thing. I love mediating or solving problems, and doing it with a team. Being at Firewood makes growing up feel a bit more tangible and manageable, and it’s given me a healthy push out of the irons that my floating mind had been in.
Growing up is worth it and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. If this jumble of sentences has one takeaway, it’s that growing up can be both scary and exciting at times. And I’m grateful to have done a portion of it here at Firewood.
I will cheers (with my LaCroix) to that.