Summer is an exciting time for undergrads. If planned right, it is the perfect chance to not only earn some extra cash, but to practice the skills we learned in the semesters before. This can be done with internships, volunteering or even just by working for a company you want to be with after graduation. Planning with academic advisors is always a great start, and mine has been constantly offering opportunities. However, I got to experience something I thought was out of my reach. I want to share this because I want those who read this article to know that opportunities come in many different forms. Don't give up on any of your dreams.
I applied to intern this summer in D.C. with one of my State's senators. Even though I made it to the final round of consideration, I was not offered the position. Although heartbroken, I accepted the decision. I knew going in that I already had a limited chance of actually getting the offer, but I had high hopes. I knew that I just had to work and see if there was anything else that I could do this summer to add to my experience.
One day when I was with my boyfriend, I had suggested that he could spend his extra time volunteering. I showed him this website I had found a long time ago called volunteermatch.org. While looking to find a few volunteer opportunities for him, I stumbled across one that sounded really interesting to me. I decided to e-mail the person in charge for more information. A few days later, I received a phone call that has now completely changed my summer.
After talking on the phone for a long time, I was asked to come in for an interview. I was learning that the group I had taken an interest in was an advocacy group. Depending on who needed more community support, they would build recognition for certain governmental agencies or interest groups. This was amazing for me because it was literally what I plan on doing for the rest of my life, only specifically with mental health.
When I went in for the interview it was on a popular street in an older building. Once inside, I went up a marble staircase to the carpeted second floor. When I knocked on the door, someone immediately greeted me with a smile. I was welcomed in and I was surprised by what I found. It was just one room with people my age, surrounded by wooden panel walls covered in political posters. I fell in love. I felt as if I was in the basement of true grassroots activists.
During the interview, I discovered that this was an actual job (full time during the summer with a great salary). I learned that I was going to get paid to do something I have dreamed of for what seems like forever. I will be canvassing in certain neighborhoods this summer, discussing the important things that need to be changed in our current day. I am doing what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were doing at my age, and I couldn't be any more excited.
The point of this article is to show that you shouldn't be disappointed when a door closes. Keep looking around, because you don't know if there are other opportunities waiting for you somewhere else.