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Her Campus Media Design Team

The Internship Frenzy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bucknell chapter.

About a year ago, I entered the world of LinkedIn with a bright eyed grin and a curiosity for the academic accomplishments of my peers. I created a profile picture, filled in my skills and previous jobs, and set out to connect with as many Bucknell and high school friends as possible. My findings started out slow; an academic award here, a job offer there. But then winter approached, and suddenly the girl in my freshman year foundation seminar had an internship for the next summer, and then the girl in my sorority had an internship for the next summer, and then what felt like half of my almost 1,000 person class had an internship for the next summer. My feed became a vicious cycle of “I’m very excited to announce…” and “after several rounds of interviews…” Before I even knew my spring schedule, everyone around me knew their summer plans. Not just any plans – plans with top accounting firms in NYC, or big marketing firms offering a spot to only a sliver of qualified candidates. 

I never felt an intense pressure to join in on the fun, though I won’t deny the folder I have on my laptop entitled: “Summer Internships 2023.” I’m lucky to have the confidence in myself to feel that my waitressing job this past summer has given me the same experience and skills as an exclusive internship might, though not all students feel this way. Education and the job hunt at this level starts all the way in middle school, when we’re introduced to grades and warned of the standards of high school classes. We’re taught to strive to be better than good, and better than the people around us. Straight A’s mean nothing, but if you have seven extracurriculars and won three academic awards then you might have a small chance at the school of your “dreams.” Dreams being in quotation marks to note that the dreams of high schoolers are more likely to be finding love or having a cool car, not going to classes for four more years.

To understand that these expectations continue on once we get into these highly renowned schools is tough for some. In such a competitive world, we feel dissatisfaction at a rate too fast to keep up with. The pride of an accomplishment lasts just long enough to pull you to the next expectation. We go to college, we join clubs, we become the leaders of those clubs, we get a summer internship, we get a job with that company, we graduate, and we work our way up in the company. None of this is to say that the drive of the American workforce is unimpressive – the ability to plan ahead and network is what brings people success and hopefully contentment in life. It is to say, however, that what we have drilled into our brains is a path to success that leaves very little room to breathe. There is something to be said for enjoying our achievements and having a little bit of fun along the way. We could all benefit from a little more free time, and a little less stress about the future.

Alicia Newman

Bucknell '24

Hi! I'm Alicia, a Senior at Bucknell studying Sociology and Spanish. When I'm not reading or writing, you'll probably find me cooking yummy food or going for a run!