Unexpected Anxiety Over Accepting An Internship
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Health and Wellness

Unexpected Anxiety Over Accepting An Internship


Applying for internships is one of the most emotionally taxing processes of a college student’s life. These summer programs could lead to exciting career opportunities and invaluable connections after graduation.That is, if you are able to find one.

The most highly coveted internship is one that is directly related to your major or specific career plan and offers pay. Several students, myself included, can’t afford to spend a summer without pay so expectations for landing one of these highly competitive paid internships is usually low.

I spend a lot of down time applying for these types of internships. I figure that, even though the chances of getting one are slim, applying can't hurt. As I applied for countless internships in Chicago, New York City and just about every major city in the United States, I was also planning for another summer of staying around home working a minimum wage job.

By some miracle, I actually got one of the internships I applied for. If I wanted to, I would be able to spend my summer in New York City working for a company that would provide me with incredible experience for my future.

As soon as I saw that I had been chosen, I was thrilled and immediately wanted to accept. It was the reason I had spent hour after hour refining my resume to apply for internship after internship. I would have to be crazy to second guess myself, right?

Luckily, I had plenty of time to consider whether to accept or not and while my excitement over the offer remained through the roof, other emotions slowly crept in. What started as a little bit of anxiety turned into a nearly persistent knot in my stomach as I realized what taking this internship would mean.

Accepting this offer meant moving 14 hours away from home and paying for my own housing, which I have done before. However, if you know the cost of living in NYC you will understand my feeling of nausea after looking at the monthly rent of a tiny apartment, taking on a full-time job and becoming a fully functioning adult.

Then, I started wondering if I was even capable of doing the job. What if I walked in on the first day and did so terribly that that they told me to leave and never come back? How would I survive on the mean streets of NYC? Totally irrational, I know, but it still contributed to the overall anxiety of accepting.

I was totally unprepared to actually handle an offer because I never thought one would work out. Maybe that’s a glass half-empty kind of way to look at the world, but I already had my nice, safe minimum wage job lined up for the summer and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider passing up the offer for the security of the comfort of what I know.

However, this anxiety made me realize that, deep down, I really wanted this. It’s easy to say that you want something that you think is out of reach. Once it is actually within your grasp it is an entirely different story.

When I thought of the summer I would have staying around here working at a pool as a lifeguard or at the gym, I didn’t feel particularly excited. It was just comforting to know it was an option.

So, I accepted my offer to spend the summer in NYC as an intern. I am still terrified. I’m sure I’ll have days where I am overwhelmed by the work, I’m positive that I will get lost in the city on more than one occasion and I know that I will make several mistakes as I adjust to the new rhythms of adult life.

Accepting was the decision I had planned to make all along, but I am glad I considered all the possibilities before committing. Had I not, the challenges ahead could have easily overwhelmed me and might have ruined the experience. Now, after all the worry and stress, I am even more confident and excited to see what this new experience throws my way. 

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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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