Earlier this school year, in the frantic summer internship season that is the winter, I had applied to various newspapers in my hunt for precious experience. Not just to add some lines to my resume but to make my mark on the world a little bit bigger.
I had received a call back from the Grand Island Independent, with the editor telling me he wanted me to work for them. I was ecstatic but at the same time anxious as he wanted a reply by the end of the week.
Before that week ended, I received an email from the Lincoln Journal Star saying that they wanted me to come in for an additional interview. Wanting to take advantage of the larger newspaper in a more familiar environment, I called the Independent to tell them that unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to work there.
A week after my second interview, I was crushed to open my email inbox to find that I had not received the Journal Star internship. Ashamed I fretted over the situation longer than I should have wondering what to do. Eventually I emailed the Independent, seeing if there was any way I could still work, but it was too late as they had hired someone to take my place.
This entire situation humiliated me. What was I going to do? Return to my hometown and work at the paper there again? I love my hometown dearly, as well as working at the paper, but I wanted a new experience for the summer.
Even as I’m writing this, I don’t know what I’m going to do over the summer. I may return home and see if I can intern with the paper again. I may work in a small newspaper in Colorado. Even though I don’t have a set plan, I realized that stressing myself out over the situation wasn’t going to help me.
Sometimes it’s OK to not know where you’re heading. At this point in our lives, we are preparing for probably the biggest step we’ll take. By worrying about this challenge, we lose sight of the bigger goals.
That’s not to say that stress can be partially beneficially, especially with last-minute panic (which is when I get most of work done). But with something as serious as a summer internship, it won’t help you, and it definitely didn’t help me.
I hope that my story, although unfinished, can help you as we prepare to end the school year.