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Adjusting to Undergrad Life Post-Awesome Summer Internship

How bad is it that we’re already a month into the semester and I haven’t fallen back into my school-groove yet? (Can someone please assure me that I’m not the only one?) But, what I’m finding isn’t helping my motivation is that I can’t help comparing what I’m “learning” in my classes to what I experienced this summer at my awesome internship at National Geographic.

To me, I’m still in denial. I honestly can’t believe how quickly this summer flew by—now this semester—and how much I was able to cram into a mere 10 weeks. But here’s a look at why I’m still in denial:

– ASU’s Belk Library vs. National Geographic Society’s library
If Belk Library has a map collection of over 10,000 maps, I haven’t found it. Or, if I can check out Rosetta Stone for extended periods of time, I haven’t found that either. But, if I have a problem with the printing system, I know where to go. Joking aside, our library is well stocked with relevant and interesting material. Plus I’m a nerd who loves libraries.

+1 point to Boone and +1 point to D.C.

– Living in Boone vs. Living in D.C.
This is a hard comparison. I like the hustle and bustle of a big city, but I also will never tire of the glorious views and weather of the High Country. And as Leslie Knope eloquently put it, D.C. in the summer is “a stupid swamp town.”

+1 point to Boone

– Randomly striking up a conversation with someone at the bar vs. Randomly striking up a conversation with National Geographic Society’s CEO, John Fahey

As much as I like meeting new people, there is an obvious hierarchal scale going on. While you may be interesting, the fact that the CEO of one of the largest non-profit institutions in the world talks to a meager intern shows how friendly the atmosphere is. Now if only I didn’t sound like a babbling fool…

And, finally:
– Listening to professors vs. Listening to James Cameron (!!) and other NG Emerging Explorers

No offense to some of my professors, but they didn’t just complete a record-setting dive into the Mariana Trench AND show me part of the documentary about it. They also probably didn’t just develop a way to use satellites to find archeological dig sites or teach kids how to build a plane and then use it to fly across the world. So, I’m sorry you lost me when you were talking about applications of research methods. Yawn

+ 100,000,000 points to D.C.

Boone will always hold a piece of my heart, but this summer made me impatient. I’m ready to graduate and experience the “real world,” no matter how dreadful people make it out to be.

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