From The Girl Who Went From Feeling Like A Failure To A Success In 3 Days FLAT

From The Girl Who Went From Feeling Like A Failure To A Success In 3 Days FLAT

When one door closes, another opens.
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The second Disney Internship rejection hit me harder than the first. The first one hadn’t been much of a surprise; it was for a communications position that focused more on graphic design and social media than on writing, and I didn’t have as much to put on my resume about the former two. I was bummed, of course, but I still had five applications with “Under Review” as their status on my candidate dashboard, so I was mostly able to shrug off the “at this time we are considering candidates whose qualifications more line up with this role’s needs” email.

But then I found out about the park operations management internship application – not through an email, but by logging into my dashboard on a whim and seeing that the “Under Review” line had switched to “No Longer In Consideration.”

It felt like a slap in the face.

I had truly felt prepared for that role. I had spent two semesters working in park operations. I had met with my managers, and they helped me cater my resume to the application. I had attended every networking event and career development workshop I could find. In short, as far as I could tell, I had done all of the things that I was supposed to do to succeed.

But it wasn’t enough. Not enough for the role, not enough for an interview, and not even enough for a phone screening or a form email.

Two hours after seeing those four words on my candidate dashboard, I had a “meet and greet” with an entertainment manager. He’d had a management internship, and after that moved into a full-time role, helping bring shows in the parks to life, just like I’d love to do. And in the middle of our meeting, I started to cry.

I was mortified with myself, but I couldn’t help it. He took it well, giving me time to calm down again and not doing or saying anything to make me feel bad for crying, but I was still embarrassed enough that as soon as I’d left the building I started crying again.

“This is it,” I thought. “I’m cracking under the pressure. I worked my butt off to get here, and I’m failing anyway. I’m not good enough. What if I’m not good enough for any of them?”

Fast forward through three days of telling people I’d been rejected, getting hugs from coworkers and roommates and comforting texts from my parents, and managing to put my stress aside enough to focus on smiling and making people’s day at work.

It was the first day of my “weekend” (which is usually Tuesday/Wednesday; days of the week don’t mean much when you work in a theme park). I was woken up not by my alarm but by my phone ringing. The caller ID showed an unknown number, but the location it gave was Kissimmee, FL, so I picked it up.

The recruiter on the line wanted to know when I would be available to interview for the Live Entertainment Show Writer internship.

I don’t remember exactly how I responded, but I remember doing a lot of bouncing around and squealing after I hung up the phone. The management internship would have been a great opportunity, but the show writer internship – this was the role I’d spent the last two years dreaming about, building up my portfolio for, and in general working towards! This was my dream role!

I texted my friends and family. I emailed my network, and they replied en masse with interview advice: “Be confident!” “Be prepared to talk about collaboration, and what makes a good story.” “Don’t ramble. When you get to the end of an answer, STOP.” “Let your passion show – remember that they want you to succeed!” “BREATHE.”

I spent the whole day practicing answers to imagined questions, and the next day, I dressed my best and went in for the interview. There were two people in the room with me, and one of them I had met before on my networking journeys. And incredibly enough, for nearly everything they asked me, I had practiced an answer for. I felt confident and comfortable throughout.

“Even if I don’t get it,” I texted my parents as I left the interview, “I am very proud of myself.”

I could end this article here. Getting the interview was a huge honor and a major boost to my self-esteem. For the next week, I felt absolutely great.

But every now and then, things work out even better than great. Exactly a week after the interview, the recruiter called me back to offer me the role, and I gleefully accepted it.

The success doesn’t invalidate how bad I felt the week before it. I think there’s another lesson to be learned here. Working towards the future can really suck a lot of the time. But if we let that stop us from trying, then we won’t be there when the stars finally align.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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