This summer I will be interning at Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in San Francisco. This nonprofit organization is near to my heart because of my love for the elderly. Their mission is centered on easing the social isolation and loneliness faced by elders over the age of 70 that live alone and are classified as low income. I was first introduced to this organization in my freshman year as it was my PULSE placement. As my PULSE placement, I learned how to navigate Boston in my freshman year because of Little Brothers and also had my first experience with working in the nonprofit sector. With previous experience at this organization, I thought working with them again would be a way to learn how to navigate a different city and expand my knowledge surrounding elderly isolation and loneliness.
I just finished packing my luggage and checked the voicemail on my phone from my supervisor at Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly San Francisco – “…All of us in the office so look forward to meeting you on Monday, Brooke. Safe travels!” Although it has been the last three weeks, it feels as though I’ve just fully settled back into my hometown job and co-worker family at the 15 acre flower farm. Throughout these three weeks, the excitement that everyone asks me about regarding my big trip to San Francisco is guarded by my nervousness that comes with the idea of trying to settle into another job, employee family, and experience on a different coast. Being back in the rural life of my hometown in upstate New York is so different from the urban feel of Boston and what I expect of San Francisco. As a result, I cannot help but feel slight anxiety concerning how I will try to grasp and fully understand the layout and culture of a new city in only two months. Along with trying to utilize two months to become familiar with a huge city, two months, now, seems like such a short time to build lasting relationships. When I worked at Little Brothers in Boston during my freshman year, I was able to expand relationships over the course of an entire year and as a result built lasting connections. Two months is plenty of time to build relationships and experiences that forever shape my life, but the thought of having to leave these relationships and experiences in two months from now worries me. I am already concerned with how I can take what I will learn from the experience with me as I go forward into my senior year.
These worries, concerns, and anxiety-provoking thoughts were eased by my supervisor’s voicemail. The simple line “[We] look forward to meeting you on Monday” gives me a sense of security knowing that I will have a network of support at Little Brothers that will be there to help me understand San Francisco and support me through the process of valuing the relationships that I will make within these two months. My flight leaves on Saturday night and I will be in the Little Brothers’ office on Monday morning at 9am!