Hi again! Many of you may experience co-op while at RIT, and many of you will travel to new places for your jobs. This means that you will likely not have any friends in the area you are working, and you may have to make some new ones, or find something to do alone wherever you are. You will also have a ton of free time, especially on weekends, since there is no homework or studying! Here are a few things you can do to pass the time when you are not working!
Since there will be a ton of free time, especially since you won’t know anybody, this is a great opportunity to work on yourself! If you don’t already go to the gym and you want to get more physically fit, co-op is a great time to start. I started working out on my co-op basically for the first time, and I ran my first 5k by the end of it! Besides physical improvement, you could also learn something. There are plenty of free online resources to learn a new skill, language, or subject. For me, I watched online videos on process safety for my major! This is something I can put on my resume and makes me stand out. Things like that can improve you and make you more desirable to employers. It can also be fun! One of my friends learned to do a backflip on his co-op, so really anything you want to learn, you can!
Chances are good, especially during the Summer, that there will be some sort of festival or event near you while you’re working. This can depend on where you are, but a lot of the time there will be fun festivals you can see for food or music, and local concerts to see! Google your city/town, ask your coworkers, or just go walk around! I went to a food truck festival with some friends while I was on co-op!
Become a Regular
Find a breakfast or lunch place you really like and become a regular there! This can help you make friends you can see every day and you get to eat good food too. The other co-op where I worked used to go to the same bagel shop every Monday and buy a baker’s dozen of bagels with cream cheese (he ate a lot of bagels). I also went to the same restaurant with coworkers often throughout my time there, and it made work more enjoyable and helped me get closer to my coworkers.
Visit Your Friends
Even though you will probably be able to find things to do near you while you’re on co-op, it still may get lonely. To help with this, just go visit your friends! If it’s Summer, visit some at home, or if it’s during the semester come back and visit school! You can also try to find some nearby that are also be on co-op so you can help them to be less lonely too!
Take a Road Trip
During a holiday or long weekend, drive somewhere close by! Visit a historic attraction, a natural park, or museum a day’s drive away. This is especially good if you get sick of where you are co-oping and just need to visit somewhere else for a day or two. A change of scenery can really help. I drove with some of my friends to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory in Vermont one weekend and I went apple picking while I was on co-op!
It is super important while you’re on co-op to find things to do besides work! These are just a few things you can do, but it’s up to you to find things you like!