How to Survive a Co Op Session in Indianapolis

This guide will help you survive your co-op session here in Indianapolis, Indiana. It will give you tips for getting through the boring day, how to deal with your boss (and their boss), and what to do at night now that you do not have homework, but at the same time, you don't have any real responsibilities either.


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    Get Through the Day: Getting through the day is the crucial step to surviving your coop session here in Indianapolis. Days are boring. You will be given some interesting tasks, but on the whole, we all know you are here for the money. Many tasks you will be given will be long, drawn out, boring, and seemingly useless, you have to get through these. Updating hundreds of part routings because someone in upper management decides to use "Ref:" instead of "Per" will be monotonous to say the least, but if it is on your PDR, you had better get it done (See PDR below).
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    Now that you know you have to get through the day, here are some ways to keep your day moving. Bring snacks to work: Snacks keep your blood-sugar up, and providing they are healthy, will not affect your diet very much. Good snacks include raisins, peanuts, pretzels, trail mix, chex mix, fruits & veggies. Also be sure to offer whatever you are munching on to coworkers, as it will increase their respect for you, and they will share their snacks in return. Be sure to accompany your snacks with frequent trips to the watercooler. This gives you a nice short break, and allows you to stretch your legs, plus, it allows for frequent trips to the bathroom as well. Finally, visit other coops often, as they can sympathize with you, and are generally decent to chat with. Ohh, and did I mention the internet?
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    Another thing to keep in mind, Lunch! Co-Op's love to go out to lunch with each other everyday, but planning can be cumbersome at best. It is best for a leader to make a decision, and then everyone can go, or not. For the health nuts, you can still pack a lunch, and just go along for the break from lunch and the company, two great things.
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    To keep you motivated on your work (when the money just isn't enough anymore), here are a few things to keep in mind. First, you get to go out and get hammered (see below) when you get off of work, that is a huge plus. Second, you are more likely to get better ratings from your boss, which translates to more money when you graduate. Third, as much as I hate to admit it, it does make the day fly by if you keep busy with work. Finally, it will remove any possible feeling of guilt that might crop up later if you just mess around the whole time.
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    Alright, now that you are through the day, get ready for some wild nights! It helps to give each day of the week a name, and some suggested ones are listed below in tips. Naming each day gives you something to look forward to, and helps with motivation. Also, it makes planning easier, as who is going to forget a day like Wasted Wednesday?
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    Now that you are home from work, it helps to pass the afternoon in a non-lazy fashion. The more butt-sitting you do then, the more you will be willing to do later at night, which might end all hope of a good night. Try cooking a dinner for everyone, or playing a sport. Soccer is always fun, and friends will kick balls into your back really hard. Or you can try basketball, and you might sprain your ankle and be forced to hang out with cool people for another day. Or, play the official Co-op Sport: Footy! Aussie Footy! Amazing to say the least. Or, you can just go home and work out every day, see tips below.
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    Plan where you are going ahead of time. If you have a large group, trying to organize where you are going at 10pm on a Tuesday when you all have to be up at 6am the next day is not fun, and easily leads to bitter arguments and name-calling. Have some people act as leaders, and during work that day, send out some feeler emails stating where you are going, and inviting others to come along. "Group-Think" should ensure that everyone will go along with your plans, as long as they are varied from night to night.
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    Go some place close. Bars/Night clubs are generally boring for the first few hours of the night, especially if you get there at 8pm when they open. If the place is closer, you can afford staying out a bit later, and have cheaper cab rides, or even better, talk someone into being a designated driver (DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! YOU MIGHT SPILL YOUR BEER! [or get arrested..]).
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    Individually plan how much you want to drink that night. Drinking at a bar is fun, and it is easy to get carried away, making for a long, horribly boring, and even painful day at work the next day. Planning ahead will help keep you in check, and makes going to the bar every night easier on your budget as well. If you are planning on getting tanked, be sure to drink plenty ahead of time, as $10 will get you loaded at home, but will only buy a few beers at the bar.
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    Go to unique places. It is fun to go to 80's night here and there, but every night and it is going to start dragging. Mix it up, try an Irish Pub, or some yuppie place downtown. This also gives you a better variety of the opposite sex should you be inclined to meet new people.
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    Find a favorite local band. Wheelhouse is really good, and they play in a few different locations, giving you new experiences, and putting long term dates on your calendar, helping the days go by faster. This also helps you from hating this mediocre "city" (closer to a town!). Also, local bands attract the younger crowd, something that is at times illusive here, as there is no large college here.


  • Some possible names for days: Messed-Up Monday, Twisted/Tanked Tuesday, Wasted Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fu*ked-up Friday, Sloshed Saturday, and Sober (Optional) Sunday.
  • Make meeting requests through the work email system to ensure everyone is on the same page, knows where they are going, and when. Having it on the calendar makes it official, and makes people feel obligated to go, getting the lazy people to come as well.
  • Work out everyday! Everyone talks about the "Freshman 15", well that is nothing compared to the "Co-Op 15". Sitting at a computer desk all day, and then getting loaded every night will take a beating on your figure, trust me. If you work out in between those two activities (making money and spending it), or play some sports everyday, it will help to keep you in shape.


  • Avoid drinking heavily if you plan on being productive the next day
  • Learn entrances to your desk that steer you from your boss, will help if you are running late and your shirt is not tucked in
  • Have roommates wake you up if you turn your alarm off
  • Order a glass of water with every drink you have at the bar, its free and will dramatically ease your hangover.
  • Hooking up with coworkers is always a sticky situation. If done with care, it can be rewarding, if done foolishly, it could have massive consequences. Always state intentions early on so neither party gets the wrong idea.

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Categories: Workplace Conflicts Coping and Issues