The end of an era

I have spent the majority of my working life in a bowling alley – not many people can say that. In 2011, I began working at the local bowling alley and worked there until I left for college in the fall of 2013. Once I transferred back home after my first semester, I returned to work. I worked for another year while I commuted to school. I transferred to UConn in January 2015 so I stopped working until I came home for the summer. I went back to school that August.  In October, I decided to transfer to a different bowling alley within the same company because it was closer to school and I finally had a car on campus. Since I already had experience, they took me in with open arms. I worked there up until March 2017 when I quit the company for good. I told myself: “This is it. After five and a half years, I am officially done. I don’t ever want to come back.” A goodbye party was even thrown for me.

Fast forward to November 2017 (six months after college graduation) and I cannot find a full time job to save my life. I spent the summer at a really fun, well-paying job that kept me distracted from having to find an “adult job.” Once the busy season of that job ended, I was having so much trouble finding a job. No one was hiring because everyone already went through the process of hiring fresh graduates. I had interviews here and there but nothing was biting. In desperation, I walked back into the bowling alley where it all began, hoping they had hours to spare. Lucky for me, they took me back right away and gave me tons of hours in several different departments. It was great because I already felt so comfortable but it was still a new experience because of all of the new staff. In the four months I was back there, I met some seriously incredible people who made leaving really hard.

Yesterday, I clocked out for the final time as tears streamed down my face. For the last four months, I have looked forward to going into work every single day. I LOVED my job. I loved the people. I loved the customers, especially my regulars. It was really sad saying goodbye to all of my favorite people, people I’ll probably never work with again. I have created new friendships these last four months that I truly hope last a lifetime. Some of the best people I have ever met are people I met within those four walls over the last six and a half years.

If I wasn’t offered such a great opportunity with another company, I probably would not have left the bowling alley any time soon. But it all came down to “grow or go.” I wasn’t growing within the company at a pace that I would have liked to, so I had to go. It is time for me to do what is best for me. I’m ready for new experiences, new challenges, and new beginnings. As scary as it is to start over somewhere completely new, I am really excited for the change. I am excited to learn, to step outside of my comfort zone, and to really test my abilities. I am eager to finally feel like I am utilizing my college degree at a “big girl” job.

It is totally bittersweet having my bowling alley era come to an end. Although I have quit and returned there several times, leaving there this time feels different. I would never say never about going back if the right opportunity presented itself, but for now, I am glad a new era is beginning. I know my new job will really allow me to grow and that is all I can really ask for.

Cheers to change!

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