How should I spend my final two months of freedom?
February 19, 2008 11:05 AM   Subscribe

How should I spend my final two months of freedom?

I have about 2.5 months left before I start a summer internship which I imagine will be my last stop before securing a 9 to 5. I graduated last June from college and have since been working as a freelance writer and doing some side jobs (tutoring, etc.) I live at home so I don't have a lot of bills, no rent, etc.

I spent a lot of time after graduating holding out for that dream job which never materialized. I secured this internship about a month ago. I've been applying to part time admin jobs and temp agencies. I was offered a job last Friday, a basic phone customer service job from 8-5 daily. They know I'm leaving in a few months and are ok with that.

Should I take the job and ride out these last few months that way or should I do something else? I'm not really in a financial position to travel extensively since my big goal right now is saving, saving, saving. I could use the money, but at this point I'm leaning toward giving my time a higher value.

Any suggestions of what I should do?

Thanks!
posted by PinkButterfly to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Skip the customer service job if you don't need it. Do something you will never have the opportunity to do again once you have to worry about rent and utilities and groceries. If I were in your shoes, I would try and find some way to travel, or find a time-intensive volunteer opportunity.

My sister was smarter than me, and found volunteer programs that involved driving around the country, working on events for a non-profit loosely related to her career path. She got to see a lot of the country for free, and meet a ton of people. Plus, it looked great on her resume. Maybe there is something like that you could do.
posted by tastybrains at 11:10 AM on February 19, 2008


if you are financially comfortable without this temp job, try doing something like volunteering. i think this time is better spent experiencing something new or networking with others for long-term gain. if customer service is not the field you are interested in, a few months of that only gives you a bit of financial gain but no long-term professional or personal gain.
(and once you start 9-5, you will painfully realize having a few months of free time is very hard to get!)
posted by grafholic at 11:28 AM on February 19, 2008


You didn't list your goals. Why are you saving money? Is is for a down payment on a house? A simple financial cushion? Or? We don't know what is important to you.
posted by MillMan at 11:28 AM on February 19, 2008


MillMan
I'm saving for moving out, having an emergency fund, just generally trying to be financially responsible.
Goals: My internship is in writing. I'm open to doing new things, learning new things, etc.
I feel like I wasted a lot of time already "holding out" for a dream job and the anxiety and sadness that involved.
posted by PinkButterfly at 11:35 AM on February 19, 2008


I would say go futz about so that you have something to write about and maybe get a part time job at a coffee shop. If you want to crush your soul, work the 8-5 as a temp making customer service phone calls. You want to be able to bring as much energy as you can into this internship... don't burn yourself out unnecessarily.
posted by pwally at 11:46 AM on February 19, 2008


I was in something like your situation; I got a job teaching after college, and I hated it. When summer rolled around, I quit, and I was free. That coincided with my best friend graduating from college. So we had his car, I had maybe six hundred dollars, and we budgeted for gas and enough peanut butter, bread, and coffee to keep us alive.

We went on a month-and-a-half-long road trip across the country, starting in New Hampshire, going West across the North of the US, down the West coast to San Diego, East across the South, then back up the Eastern seaboard. Along the way, we stayed with friends. When we didn't have friends nearby, we slept in the car at rest stops. If something caught our eye -- anything from a Museum of Time to a weird-looking rock to the city of Phoenix solely because it reminded us of Dark Phoenix from the X-Men -- we stopped and looked around a bit. Most of my time was spent in conversation, writing things, or drawing things, all in new places I'd never been before.

It was the best possible use of my time. When I think about the alternate universe in which I took a job and saved 2 months worth of cash instead, I weep.

I don't suggest you do exactly what I did, but if you're weighing whether to accrue money or accrue an odd little experience, I suggest the latter.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:35 PM on February 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I would suggest doing exactly what Greg Not did. Spend some time without deadlines, rush hour or alarm clocks. Talk to people you might never come in contact with in your regular life. Learn a few things about yourself.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:26 PM on February 19, 2008


I'm too lazy to find it, but there was a somewhat similar question, oh, 1-2 years back with a huge range of options (mostly cheap travel options).

As to answering your question, I really don't have any sense of what you might want to do, so I have no ideas. I mean, okay, you want freedom, and you want to be saving, but then you say you'd rather not work, so, I feel like what you're hinting at is that you just want to hang out around your own town not working.

It's your last 2.5 months of freedom! What do you want to do?? What have you always wanted to do? What will you want to say you did? In the same situation, I caught rides from Virginia to Moab, Utah, and lived camped out in some canyon half a mile from town, biking into town to work as a dishwasher. Um, but that was what I really wanted to do. Don't you have any ideas nibbling at your mind?

(I will say that riding Greyhound is great for learning to write dialogue, not that I can myself.) (Also, backpacking is pretty cheap once you have the gear. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail! Oh wait, now we're back on my dreams again. What do you want to do?)
posted by salvia at 1:18 AM on February 20, 2008


Thank you everyone.

I'm making a list of all the things I've ever wanted to do and figuring out how to get many of them done. Like Greg Nog mentioned, I've always wanted to go on a road trip and I'm working on planning one with a friend.

I do not want to just bum around town for a few months. I'm planning to spend my time learning some things and having a little fun.

Most of the time since I graduated last spring has been spent somewhat stressed and down about the reality of post-grad life and that's why I finally wanted to do something else for the last few months.

Thanks.
posted by PinkButterfly at 11:00 AM on February 20, 2008


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