Lessons from CO-OP

I was nervous about giving up my time in school to be in the Co-Op program. I wanted to be involved in as many things as I could. I didn’t want to have any regrets. The choice to Co-Op was not easy. I had to give up a few activities like soccer and chorus, but I made the right choice to do Co-Op.

It was always hard for me to focus in school. I was always pretty much brain dead by 4th block. Now I only have two classes to focus on a day. My grades have improved because I cut out all the extra things that took up my energy. Now I go from about 3 to 5 hours a day, which makes me a lot more motivated.

In school it is easy to be completely focused on you. If you score badly on a test it doesn’t affect anyone else but you. With a job if I am sloppy or late, if reflects badly on the business. My actions affect more than me. Having already learned that, I can go into my next job with experience and a different mindset than when I first started at the beginning of this year.

Co-Op gave me independence. I don’t have the school taking care of me for 7 hours a day. I can leave for lunch or run errands; everything is on your own time.

Co-Op also has helped me narrow down what I want to major in. In my job I am at a desk and also take care of my boss’s child. While both areas have been good for me, I realized that I loved working with children more than handling the business aspects. That helped me decide on my major of Child Life Studies. I now have an idea of what I want to do with my life.

I haven’t felt like I gave up my senior year experience to be in Co-Op. If anything it has made me appreciate high school and not wish it away.

Mary Ila Ward

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