My Gap Year Semester – Learning to Live Independently

by | Apr 9, 2021 | Featured, Gap Year, Independent Living, Internships, Student Blog

During my first semester at the Dynamy Internship Program, I decided to work at a place called ACDC. ACDC was an acronym for Automotive Career Development Center. It acted as a place where certified technicians could learn more about the growing industry of hybrid and electric vehicles. It was also a certified shop where customers could bring their hybrid or electric cars to be repaired. And that is what we did while I was there. I was working with two other Dynamy interns, who both happened to be Jack and my name being Jackson, sometimes it was very confusing when our boss tried to get one of our attention. While we were there, we took part in a week-long class that is usually only for skilled technicians and would have cost us around $5,000, but we were able to take it for free. During the week, we learned the ins and outs of some of the hybrid and electric cars he had on site. In total, he had about 20 cars and he showed us 8 different ones throughout the week. Once the class was over and for the rest of the time, we would work on customer cars, clean the shop, build storage sheds, and help our boss edit a book that he had been working on since 2017. The book was going to be sold to schools for automotive classes so kids could learn all about hybrid and electric cars. I had a really fun time working at ACDC, learning lots of things that I never would have thought to even think about, made some awesome friends, and also some good memories. 

I also had a really great time living in an apartment with other people. Going from being to an only child at home to living in an apartment with 5 other dudes is a big change. But I think that I handled that change really well. Before we all moved in I got to meet everyone and see how well we got along and that made deciding who I wanted to house with really easy. Probably the biggest challenge I was facing going into the program was money management. Each week we were given a $125 stipend and would have to manage how we spent it until we got our next check. I decided that my main focus was to spend the money on groceries and gas and if I had extra, save it so I could have extra money next week in case I wanted to get something special. Each time before I went grocery shopping I would look through the fridge and make a list of what I needed and then would look up the prices so I would have a rough idea of how much I was going to spend on that trip. Only about once a week would I order some food to the house, because I knew that would use up my set amount of money very quick. Gas wasn’t that bad to worry about because I would carpool with my co-workers. We would switch off when one of us would take everyone to work a different week, so I didn’t use a lot of gas. A couple of times I did get homesick so I would call up my parents and let them know how things were going and I also would have them send me pictures of my dogs. I have had a really great first semester at Dynamy and I can’t wait to see what the second semester holds for the future. 

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