Saying no to interning

Sarah Harris

As I sat down at my computer in February scrolling through different internship opportunities to take advantage of this summer, I couldn’t ignore a feeling in my stomach. If I were to put this feeling into a word it would be: discontent.

I have had the opportunity to intern three different times while at college, starting sophomore year during winter break. And these weren’t “sit at a desk and do nothing all day” internships. The internships required me to commute into NYC every day at God forsaken hours, work early mornings and late nights, run around the city, run around the office and be in high pressure environments. I gained an immense amount of skills and regret none of it, but I didn’t really have a summer. School was more relaxing than my internships were.

And as I was deciding where I should apply for this upcoming summer, I realized that I hadn’t had more than a two week break from school or internships since freshman year. Now this isn’t so bad because it has been a taste of the real world: no summers and small vacations. But as I looked forward, I realized that after this summer, I will finish out my senior year while interning during the fall and then get a job as soon as I graduate (hopefully) and boom, I’m stuck in reality forever. Would I ever get an opportunity like this again?

After talking to my past bosses, my advisors and friends, I made the decision to take this summer off from interning. My mom wasn’t thrilled when I told her because who doesn’t intern before their senior year? Well, luckily I have worked my butt off so that I am able to take this opportunity and make the most of it.

I want to put an emphasis on this next part. Interning is one of the most important things a college student could do to further their opportunities in the career of their choice. I have benefitted in many ways from my internships and plan on interning my senior year. But timing is crucial as well. So if you’re a freshman or sophomore take these words into consideration when planning on when you will intern, and if you’re a junior in the same position as I, take these words into consideration as well when finalizing your schedules this summer and upcoming year.

We are 20 years old and how many more opportunities will we get where we have two to three months just enjoying the warm weather and doing things we want to, when we want to, however we want to? Probably never.

The things I’ll be able to do this summer are endless. First of all, this winter sucked every happy thought from my body and I need to recover in the sun and not in an office. I will be able to wake up at a normal time and have absolutely no responsibilities. I also have about 20 books piling up that are waiting to be read. If having so much free time becomes boring, I’ll be able to pick up a paying job at a bookstore or coffee shop to make some cash. But most of all, I get to spend time with my family. I rarely get to see my brothers and sister these days now that we are either in school or moved out. I also get to go to Oregon, my favorite place in America and travel along the coast, spend time at the beach house and visit my relatives.

If you are able to have the same opportunity as I do this summer, make the most of it. Enjoy having no responsibilities while you can. It won’t last forever. And if you are working, work as hard as you can so that you will be able to enjoy your breaks when you get one. We’re only college students for so long. Read, travel and relax because when the real world hits, there’s no going back.