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I'm Saying No To Internships And Yes To Odd Jobs This Summer

No internship? No problem.

girl standing on a rock at the beach
Nikki Anderson

So get this, I'm a rising senior home for the summer.

I have bags and boxes to unpack and childhood friends to meet up with while simultaneously hiding from every person I graduated with at the bars.

Mom and Dad expect me to go back to my camp counselor job or accept a nice internship in the city getting my career jumpstarted. But I'm actually getting ready to turn down ALL of my internship offers.

Some might call me crazy, some might say I'll never get a job that way, and some just might wish they were me.

I go to a small liberal arts college in the middle of Pennsylvania and I'm constantly surrounded by kids with resumes as long as my drive to school (3.5 hours btw).

They practically push down our throats how important it is to be involved and experienced, and in my opinion overbooked.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm so unbelievably proud of my peers and everything they accomplish and do! But what if doing unpaid internships with top companies isn't the right way for me to gain experience?

What if I want my summer break to actually be a break?

There's no problem with that at all, truly. Except I'm constantly made to feel like it is.

We were raised in the generation that was taught to be so well-rounded. God, in high school I didn't even have time to sleep or eat.

Had to be in school by 7:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. then field hockey practice, drive 30 minutes to my dance classes, get home at 10 p.m. and start my homework.

I took 3 AP classes, was in Masters Choir and was the PR Chair for it. I was the theatre student choreographer (Talk about long rehearsals!), and somehow had to get straight A's.

I was bred to do it all! So now that i'm not overbooking myself everyone sees it as problematic or unproductive. Why?

My parents hold me to a pretty high standard, being their first born and also a first-gen college student, might I add. I've spent so much time stressing over not "accomplishing" as much as my friends or cousins or the kids of my dad's coworkers that he always brags about at dinner.

So to tell everyone in my circle that I turned down a few internships in the city was a shocker and a half. I decided to get experience on my own terms.

I've become very interested in the different types of marketing and interacting with people. So I spent about a month after coming home from school, testing the waters in a few different things and curating a schedule for myself that wouldn't overwhelm me AND I was able to do the things I was doing while still making money.

That part is key. I decided to work part-time as a waitress/busser/host for a local pizzeria, a yoga instructor in the mornings for kids, and I also became a market partner with a hair care line I actually use and love! I also dog sit for families in my neighborhood when they need it.

I honestly couldn't be happier to be doing this, and be able to be involved in the different things I love like yoga, food, dogs, spending all of my time on social media. So yeah, I encourage you to do what you need this summer, not necessarily what you want or are told you want.

You're never stuck, opportunities surround you always. The only thing you need to do is stop fearing failure and do what makes you happy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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