When You Get Your First Job

By: Makailey Cookis Twitter: @makcookis Instagram: @mcookis

When you get your first job, you think it is nothing more than an added activity to your weekly agenda.

But what your mom or dad forgot to tell you is that getting your first job also means opening yourself up to a variety of experiences that fall everywhere on the spectrum.

Your first job is the beginning of another chapter in your life.

Money no longer produces itself from the wallet of your caregiver, you spend six-hour shifts being treated as an adult only to return home as the teenager everyone other than your co-workers see you as, and you begin to understand the minimum wage industry.

I have worked at a local restaurant in the town right next to my home for almost 6 years. I am currently a sophomore in college and I began my employment at the tavern the day I was legally allowed to (Literally- my sister picked me up from middle school and drove me to fill out the application on my birthday).

At fourteen years old, I was unable to fathom how a restaurant job could influence anything other than my bank account. However, at nineteen years old, I now understand just how much this job has helped shape me as a person.

The tavern I have worked at truly knows how to train you in all of the areas of the restaurant business. In this former barn, I have gained multiple friendships and made even more connections.

This tavern does not just teach you how to serve.

It teaches you how to problem solve and how to master skills that are useful in all aspects of life. 

As a busser, my main tasks were to clean dirty tables as well as help the wait staff complete tasks they were too busy to do themselves. As a hostess, I had to work more with customers, as well as assist both the bussers and wait staff. As a bartender and waitress, I had to completely focus on customers. And finally, as a manager- I had to oversee it all.

In almost six years, I learned how to navigate myself and others through all of these parts of the restaurant business. Most importantly though, all of my jobs throughout the years had to do with customer service.

I have always considered myself a “people person”.

But in this business? I gained so much strength.

One important thing to note is that this tavern is not just any other restaurant. It is an incredibly busy business where all seasons have sales peaks that top almost any other restaurant in the area.

Dealing with a hectic environment (though exceedingly stressful) has taught me tremendously how to handle multiple tasks, various conversations, and how to maintain a positive attitude throughout it all at once. Now, outside of the restaurant, I have far more skills in tackling challenges that would have been very intimidating to me if I had never worked there.

The restaurant business has allowed me to embrace my inner social-butterfly.

But enough about me and my experiences.

Your first job truly influences who you are.

It is more than those paychecks.

It is more than something for the resume.

Ultimately, your first job helps you grow up.

So, to anyone fourteen and sitting on the couch after school or at the end of the night, it might be a good idea to get a job. Because if you do, you’ll acquire skills that can very easily make you a stronger, and even better, person.


NNNN Episode #19 with Zach Valencia

Fun show today talking with Zach about all things:

-Public Speaking





Like, Subscribe, Leave a 5 star review and above all- Enjoy:













How ‘Lost’ Changed My Life

By: Nicole Bates

Most of us college kids were pretty young when Lost aired on ABC back in 2004. But if you haven’t heard of the show by now? You must be living under a rock.

There are many differing opinions about the show (I think it  was a masterpiece) but regardless of what you thought about the ending or the last few seasons- Lost had a huge cultural impact.

I discovered the world of Lost right around the time I was working on the dreaded common app my senior year of high school. I remember that period as a magical time in my life because alongside the stress of applying to colleges; I was knee-deep in Lost. If you ask anyone I was friends with at the time- I didn’t talk about anything but the show.

I was obsessed.

I found myself in awe at the cast of characters. The writers of the show did such a great job at creating an ensemble of fully real and human characters. This, in combination with the life of the island itself is what captivated me. I was taken by the secret underground bunker, the Dharma initiative and the mysterious smoke monster that could shapeshift into a character’s worst nightmare. It was such an imaginative, beautiful, wonderfully horrifying world, and every time I watched I felt I was literally transported away from my life into the world of the show.

This may sound like an exaggeration  (I am a dramatic person) but when the show ended; I felt like I lost some friends. I had been with these characters all throughout one of the most stressful times of my life yet so knowing I had watched everything there would ever be of these characters was sad.

Contrary to popular opinion, I enjoyed the ending. I thought it was fitting for a bizarre, complex show that built its legacy off of always leaving the audience with unanswered questions. (I also did my fair share of research on theories about the ending and I found an explanation that made me quite happy with the way things panned out).

I could go on and on talking about Lost and all its idiosyncrasies, but that isn’t the point of this post. To this day, three years after I finished the show, I still hold the world of Lost close to my heart because I have such fond memories of the time in my life when I was watching it.

It was a time in my life when I had to come face to the face with the fact that high school was ending and I would be leaving home and all my friends to go somewhere new. Obviously, this prospect was exciting.

But change is always scary too.

With my future preying on my mind, watching this show made me long for island life. The thought of it was so appealing. I could live surrounded by exotic vegetation, watch an awesome sunrise/sunset every day, wander as I please, eat mangoes and live a simple but beautiful life.

Obviously, in Lost (pardon my French), a lot of fucked up shit happens. However, that is because it is a form of entertainment and as much as we might hate to admit it- things have to happen in TV shows so people keep watching. But if you take all the horrific things out of the equation, you are left with a lot of really tender moments in the show.

Moments like when they build a golf course in an open field, Sun’s garden grows herbs that can save lives, Desmond and Hurley’s genuine friendship with Charlie or Rose and Bernard’s home they built for themselves on the island away from all its madness!

My list goes on and on.

I know, not all these characters make it, and evil incarnate itself also lives on the island. But what the show taught me is that in these dark and hopeless times, love, happiness and beauty still exist- and these are often the times people are brought together.

In a world where I feel I hear nothing but bad news every single day, the idea of living on an island away from everything is extremely appealing. On an island, I wouldn’t have to pay attention to politics, I wouldn’t have a phone or social media to worry about, and I wouldn’t need a boring job because my life would be consumed with gathering food and making life work on the island.

I would be able to enjoy life for what it is really is. (Hopefully on this island I would be surrounded by loved ones, and we could enjoy each day there together)

Now I am talking about this “island” idea as if it were some radical idea I came up with, but it is most definitely not.  This idea of paradise has been written about over and over again. The idea is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden from the Bible or Thomas More’s Utopia which speaks of a perfect community set on an island, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which is set on a tropical island full of spirits and monsters.

People have longed for this life since the start of time, but I feel as a society we have moved further away from it rather than closer. I am not promoting a true “utopia”, because we all know from reading books like 1984, The Hunger Games, and Fahrenheit 451 that attempts at perfection always turn dystopic. But what I would promote from this “island” lifestyle is to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

We do not need to live grandiose lives to find fulfilment and happiness.

We all find happiness in different things. You might like to have a routine and embrace the daily grind in an effort to get rich or to support a family; but this is not the only option.

There is so much pressure on students to get the internship, so they can get the job, so they can get rich- when some people may not want that. As I’ve gotten older, I am starting to think I may be a lot happier with a simpler life (like running a bed and breakfast in the South of France or owning a flower shop in Maine. Who knows? The possibilities are endless).

I am not exactly sure what I want in life yet, but I do know I would like to work towards finding the magical feeling watching Lost brought me.

I found that the moments in the show that stood out to me the most (and still do) were the moments when the characters found companionship in each other and peace in discovering the joy the island had to offer.

What a concept.


NNNN Episode #17 with Adam Feeney

Great conversation with Adam talking about:

-The ups and downs of his work so far making cover art

-How he got his foot in the door with some big name artists

-The creative process involved

-Thoughts on education

-Creative networking story

-Advice for people looking to start a creative venture:

Hope everyone enjoys, subscribes, and leaves a five star review (if you have any honor) :








The “Cool” Kids

By Nicole Bates Instagram: @nicolebates_

When I was a freshman in high school, I remember looking up to the seniors and thinking they were so cool. I thought they had their lives together, they knew who they were, and they knew what they wanted. At the time, I was just a small 14-year-old who hadn’t experienced anything yet. I was shocked to learn people actually drank, smoked weed, and had sex!

As high school went on, I kept waiting to get to that point where I was the “cool” senior who knew who I was and what I wanted.

But when senior year came around; this feeling did not.

I thought back to how I revered those seniors as a naive freshman, and I did not think I could ever be in a position to be viewed that way.

I used to agonize over how I came across to other people even though I knew that was something I couldn’t control. However, how I felt I was being perceived always provoked anxiety. I felt that people saw me as the weird, quiet girl standing in the corner. I felt I rambled on to the point where my words made no sense. I felt like a nerd, like a freak, and I even felt boring.  I was nervous that because of how I acted, another person would not want to be my friend.

Now I would say that my natural inclination is to be shy and quiet.

If you know me well- you may see my chatty and outgoing side. But in large groups or around strangers, I tend to be timid.

I’ve always hated this about myself.

For years, I would look up to my extremely extroverted friends and try to be more like them. However, in this quest to find my inner extrovert; I always felt I was failing. My friends would overshadow me with their loud antics and unabashed personalities. I was so jealous of them because they could talk to whoever, whenever, and they were so comfortable doing so.

My freshman year of college was a lot like my freshman year of high school.

I would look around at people and think they were so “cool.”  But it wasn’t just the seniors, it was everyone. People doing their thing and living their independent lives as college students!

I continued to try to level up with the loud, outgoing people who I thought had it better than me but it was exhausting. Then, I started to awaken to the reality of things. I looked more critically at these friends and saw they too expressed some of the same social anxieties I felt.

This hardened “cool” front people seem to have is usually just that- a “front.” And as you get to know these “cool” people; you discover everyone has their own anxieties.

Cool means something different to everyone, and in my lifetime, its meaning has changed immensely.

In high school, “cool” was literally the “popular” kids who had parties and big houses and were for some inexplicable reason deemed better than everyone else.

I’ve also seen “Cool” as people who go through life seeming like they don’t give a fuck.

Like the people who listen to underground music acting like you could never possibly know all the music they know. Or people who are just so interesting because they walk around barefoot or know everything there is to know about astrology.

I have decided that being “cool” really just means doing what you find interesting and what you are passionate about. Yes, here I am whipping out some more clichés, but really when you are able to just be yourself- I think you will start to attract the people that are “cool” to you.

I have come a long way in squashing these all-consuming social anxieties since the days of shutting myself off alone in my freshman year dorm. Rather than trying so hard to be like the outgoing friends I had always been jealous of, I’ve settled into myself, and I’ve allowed myself to be a little more introverted without beating myself up about it.

Once I allowed myself to be myself, I found that I was much more comfortable in most social situations. I have become attune to if I am going to vibe with someone or if that connection will just never really happen.

Now I know who I want to surround myself with.

When I was trying to project someone else’s personality onto my own, I always seemed to be around people who I didn’t have much in common with. But at the time, I couldn’t recognize that was the root of my unease.

I have since realized I need to relinquish some of the control I desire to have over how people perceive me and let myself be free of worry. This means I may not get along with everyone; but that’s ok.

Because the relationships I do form feel more genuine.

Although I still experience social anxiety (it doesn’t ever completely go away), I have learned to try and push myself to get past it. If I think someone is “cool” and I want to hang out with them, then it can’t hurt to ask! What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t like me and don’t want to hang out.

 I’m ok with that now.

I’d rather feel free to ask then to let my anxiety stop me from even trying to hang out with someone who I may be able to develop an honest relationship with.

Most of the time I have found that I am able to tell whether or not I am going to vibe with someone pretty early on. If I feel a connection, they rarely turn me away if I try to hang out.

Because most people are feeling a little nervous about how you perceive them too, they might even be just as excited to find out that you want to hang out with them!

So, tell the people you appreciate how much you appreciate them and that you think they are “cool” more often- because I think that is something everyone can benefit from hearing.


Editor’s Note:

First and foremost; great piece by Nicole.

Just wanted to add that I always found it fascinating how those who deemed themselves the most popular tended to be the most despised by those around them.

Just a little #FoodForThought

Happy Tuesday.

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