By Sophie Woan
My mom told me that the summer after high school ended would be “my summer.” I could travel, I could do basically whatever I wanted, but I had to be doing something.
The problem was, I wanted to be home for the summer. All of my friends were planning to get jobs and be at home before we all left for college. I had been a day camp counselor for a summer, I had a casual internship for a different summer, but neither of those things really seemed like things I wanted to do for my last summer before college.
I had been riding at SoulCycle since they opened in Chicago in 2015. After I got into BU, I met a girl who was also an incoming freshman who worked at the front desk at Soul in the suburbs of Chicago. When I told her how jealous I was about her job, she encouraged me to apply at the studio I rode at in the city. Somehow, I got the job.
I started 3 weeks before I graduated from high school, but I didn’t REALLY start until the middle of June. When you work the front desk at Soul, your main jobs are checking people in for class, setting people up on their bikes, and keeping the studio clean and the riders happy. Weekday opening shifts start as early as 5:15 am and closing shifts end at 9 pm, weekends start at 7 am and end around 5:30 pm.
Because I had no other obligations, I worked as much as I possibly could. I didn’t know we weren’t allowed to work more than 54 hours over the course of two weeks until I worked 67 in that time. I would’ve worked more if I could because I couldn’t get enough of Soul.
I was the youngest person working there by about seven years, so I got used to spending time with adults, who quickly became some of my favorite people in the entire world. From the cleaning staff to the front desk staff to the instructors to corporate, it became clear to me that SoulCycle people were the best people on the planet.
I loved working so much because no day at the studio was ever the same. It certainly gave me a plethora of stories to tell my family and friends at the dinner table. Whether it be through rider mishaps, in-studio fumbles, or interesting phone questions, I found myself learning more about the adult world than I ever thought possible. I’m studying communication because I was pretty sure I wanted to work with people, and that was solidified this summer. Some people may get annoyed dealing with the general public, but I loved it. I loved greeting people, helping them when they needed something, and forming relationships with regular riders.
Two more unforeseen consequences came from my job: the first was that since employees get to ride for free, I ended up taking a Soul class 5-6 times per week, which gave me an excellent head start to working out in college. The second was that as part of my hiring in Chicago, I had to commit to working at the SoulCycle in Back Bay, Boston. I hadn’t planned on having a job so soon after getting to college, but when you move to a new city, it’s so special to be able to walk in a SoulCycle and already feel like you’re home.
I never thought the saying, “If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life” was actually realistic until I starting working at Soul. Every day I felt like I was going to get paid to have fun, not to work. I’ve never been more proud to say that I work for a company… and I’m even MORE glad that my wardrobe is proof of that.