Internships are a huge deal while you’re in college, and the competition to secure one is fierce. I feel like a lot of college-aged people get internships, because that is what they are told is the right thing to do at this stage in life.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that internships are a great way to network and gain valuable skills. I just don’t think it is the end all be all that it is made out to be. Especially since we are in a pandemic, the opportunities have gone down quite a bit because of how many companies are not offering anything at the moment.
Not having an internship can really take a toll on your self-esteem and mental health, and I’m here to tell you that it is perfectly okay that you do not have one right now. So just take a deep breath, know that you’re not alone and the universe knows what it's doing.
I think a lot of times, people in their late teens or early twenties are so focused on what others are doing that they do not take the time to reflect on what they actually want out of this life. By taking the summer off, you have the chance to just focus on yourself and determine if whatever you are pursuing is what you actually want. It is totally valid to give yourself a break. College is a lot of work, and it is necessary to take time to give yourself a chance to breathe once in a while.
By taking this time off, you can focus on your hobbies and get out of the tunnel vision you were in for the past nine months. This may be one of the last times you can just enjoy the summer without having to worry about a serious “adult” job yet. You can just have fun with your college job, and maybe even do some work on the side that may potentially build up your resume.
Connections and networking can be made without having an internship as well. Social media is there for us to connect with alumni or mutual friends that may potentially offer up some great work opportunities. Ask them for a chat over zoom and establish that relationship. I have a friend who has been doing that without internships for almost three years. Nowadays she is able to get any internship she wants because of how much she went out of her way to make meaningful connections with people that could help her. Most people want to help college students, so never be afraid to ask for an opportunity.
Not having a summer internship does not define how hard you work or how successful you’re going to be. It simply means you have the opportunity to put your energy towards other projects or yourself. It is okay to enjoy life and take it one day at a time. It is important to stay present and worry about what YOU are doing in your life. Stay in your lane and recognize everyone is on a different path.