How does one land a job driving a giant peanut? It’s a question I’m asked countless times every single day, second only to “What y’all got for free?” My own story is pretty boring. I knew the Wienermobile was holding a hiring information session on campus, but, being the busy little college student that I was, I couldn’t attend. I sent in a resume anyway – expecting to never hear from them again – and actually received a call from the NUTmobile the next week. And the rest is history! While my case is a little different, the majority of our program gets hired through on-campus information sessions (like the one I missed), and that’s what we were doing at the University of Texas at Austin for the week.
I’ve mentioned several times in past blogs how much I love being on college campuses, so I was expecting recruiting at UT to be a blast. The reality was more bittersweet than anything. It’s kind of cruel and unusual to be tasked with finding your own replacement for a job that you love, and it was also a harsh reminder that my time with the nut was nearly over. On top of that, many students were flat-out uninterested, which made me want to shake them while yelling, “ARE YOU DENSE?! THIS IS THE BEST JOB EVER!!” I was able to refrain from doing so, and the downers made me enjoy the students who talked to me for a long time and peppered me with seemingly endless questions that much more. After one class presentation, the five of us (we were recruiting with two wiener women) were reflecting on how “selling” our job to others gave us a new kind of excitement and appreciation for what we do – which ended up being the sweetest part about the week.
Despite the drawbacks of recruiting, I still loved spending a week on campus. We parked the NUTmobile and Wienermobile right in UT’s main circle, so we were constantly surrounded by the hustle and bustle of college life. One day there was even a pop-up petting zoo right in their center quad, and we were asked to help carry the animals. I got to hold a kangaroo wearing a diaper, and Jackie got to carry a full-grown alpaca as we trekked them across campus and back to their van. It just goes to show that college campuses are a place like nowhere else, and I love the feeling that there’s always something new going on.
Outside of being at UT, I didn’t get to spend much time seeing the rest of Austin, which was definitely a bummer. Of all of the cities in the central third of the U.S, Austin was the one I was initially most excited to visit because my friend Maggie lived there over the summer and Conner, who is a proud UT grad, had a monstrous list of restaurants and bars for us to check out. While there was no chance we’d make it to all of them, we did get to try a good amount of bomb Austin food, and had a great night out on the legendary Dirty Sixth Street.
My favorite meal of all though was our Galentine’s (+ Conner) dinner at 24 Hour Diner. The food was pretty average (except for my amazing pb & chocolate milkshake) but the company was amazing. This year has brought a lot of changes, and one big one is that I am no longer in a relationship, which means this was my first solo Valentine’s Day in over 5 years. Admittedly, I was slightly worried about how the day would make me feel, especially because it sometimes freaks me out when I think too hard on how much my life has changed in a short amount of time. However, as I sat at dinner surrounded by just four of the countless incredible people I’ve met in only eight short months, I found myself feeling grateful for how much I’ve gained this year instead of nostalgic for what used to be.
I feel like I write a lot about change, but it makes sense because change has been the only constant for me since last June, and recruiting was a big reminder that the changes aren’t stopping anytime soon. This job is quickly coming to a close, which means I have to find a new job to replace it as well as a new home. My natural inclination is to let that terrify me, but if there’s anything I’ve learned this year it’s that change is good, and there’s no point in being anything other than welcoming to it. As our week at UT-Austin progressed, I found myself being more excited for the students we met rather than resentful because they were potentially beginning the job of a lifetime. As much as things have changed and will continue to do so, I’ve always stayed connected with what’s important to me, which is how I know that I’ll always be connected with this program and with future Peans and Wiens. That thought gives me at least a little bit of comfort about the uncertainty of the future.
Catch you on the nutty side!