It's hard to believe we're on our last two weeks of surveys. For me, the time here has flown by. Three months ago we were five strangers, moving into a house in an unfamiliar area for a job that we didn't completely understand yet. We've come a long way since then. We've grown to know each other as roommates, coworkers, and friends, and we've worked hard to find a balance among those three roles. In addition to getting to know each other well, we also have come to know the lakes we work at. We started off only with the knowledge that we would be surveying at bunch of random sites around three lakes in north Georgia. Now we all have our favorites and least favorites, and we pretty much know what to expect from certain sites. For example, seeing a morning shift at Carter's on your schedule is always something to look forward to, since it means a laid back shift at work and leaves the rest of the day to do whatever you want. On the other hand, being scheduled to work the late shift at Lanier on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon is one of the most dreaded things that can happen to you in the survey world. Working at Allatoona is always pretty neutral in my opinion. It's close to our house, and you can usually expect a steady flow of visitors made up mostly of friendly local people.
Other than switching up sites and partners every two weeks, the surveys themselves have remained pretty consistent. We've gotten our routes, site setups, and opening statements to the point where we hardly even need to think twice about them. At this point in the season visitor traffic has slowed down a lot, even on weekends. The kids are back in school, and Labor Day is less than two weeks away. According to one of the rangers at Lanier, these next couple of weeks will be hit or miss, then after Labor Day there will be practically nobody at the lakes. It's almost hard to imagine.
For me at least, this summer hasn't only been about surveys. It's also been a time to explore future career opportunities, gain networking contacts through rangers, and get to know each other and ourselves on a deeper level. The majority of us came into this internship having no idea what we were going to do afterwards. The end of summer seemed a long way off, and now here we are at the end of August. Everyone now has a plan for when they leave, whether it's moving onto other SCA positions, traveling the world, accepting a paid position, or just exploring several options and trying to decide the best place to go from here (okay, so maybe that last one is just me).
But wherever we each end up, I think we'll all be taking something with us from this summer, whether we know it or not.
Written by Mia