Adriana Flores is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Adriana for a year. You can read her previous posts here.
If you’ve been following my blog series, you read last month that I was recently hired at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, as their Archivist and Special Collections Librarian. I am incredibly excited for this new opportunity, however leaving my position at Boston University was stressful and emotionally tough. I’ve grown very attached to my job, my coworkers, and the students I supervise so this month has been very hectic. Throughout June I was wrapping up my job, preparing for my cross-country move, and trying to make the most of my last days in Boston. I hope you enjoy reading about the craziness that ensued!
Preparing to leave my job at Boston University was a big task. Since I had a month and a half between when I accepted my new job and my last day, I had plenty of time to wrap up my current projects. That being said, it was very tough work and I was busy up until my last hour on the job. The first step was talking with my supervisor and the other archivists in my department to decide which of my current projects were top priority and which of my responsibilities could be temporarily transferred to other archivists until they found my replacement. My task was to finish my top priority projects and to write memos or personally explain my other ongoing projects and responsibilities to my coworkers. In order to accomplish this, I slowly backed down from my student supervision and reference room responsibilities.
Unsurprisingly, I had a few ongoing projects at my desk that had been on the back burner for one reason or another. Some of them were difficult and I had put them aside because I needed outside opinions or help from my supervisor, while others were just small projects I was leaving for a rainy day. Either way, I now had to finish them all in just a few weeks. Working on all of these projects was pretty stressful due to the time crunch, but everyone in the office was willing to lend a hand or answer my many questions. At times I was frustrated, but it was also incredibly rewarding to wrap things up and slowly clean out my workspace.
Not only was I working as quickly as I could on my final projects, but I was also trying to make the most out of my time in the office. One of the best things I did during my last days was pay a visit to our rare book librarian, Katherine. I had recently discovered that we had a first edition of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and I knew I had to see it before I left! Katherine set up a viewing and I brought along Jane and a few of our students who particularly love Jane Austen. Seeing the first edition, three-volume set of books was incredibly exciting, and I’m so grateful that Katherine made time to show it to me before I left.
The office as a whole was very sweet as I prepared to leave. Many people wrote me thoughtful cards and we had a little last day celebration with cupcakes, which was wonderful. They sent me off with some great advice, well wishes, and a brand new Boston University sweatshirt. My coworkers made my last few days at Boston University very special and I will always remember my time there fondly.
Once I was done with work I only had six days until I flew to Seattle. Those days were full of packing craziness! I rushed to get my FedEx and USPS boxes ready for shipment as well as pack my luggage. My younger sister, Amy, came out for my last weekend to help me pack and we even had to go buy another suitcase to accommodate all of the things I’d accumulated over the last three years. It was all a little frantic, but I managed to pack everything I needed and donated/disposed of everything else.
Leaving my job, my friends, my beautiful apartment, and Boston as a whole was incredibly difficult. When I arrived almost three years ago, I never would have guessed all the amazing things that would happen to me. I landed an incredible internship that developed into a full-time job, graduated from grad school, explored New England, and made some lifelong friends. Although I’m clearly sad about leaving Boston, I can’t wait for the new chapter of my life to start in the Pacific Northwest. My new job starts on July 17th, so until then I’ll be visiting with friends and family, relaxing, crafting and exercising (both things I haven’t done in a while…), and getting ready for my new job!