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A Trial-and-Error Summer

By this point in the semester, I’m sure many of you have been asked the same question that the entire world seems to be asking me – “So, what are your plans this summer?” And if you haven’t been confronted with this question, maybe it’s something you’ve been asking yourself. At least, it’s something I’ve been asking myself ever since I realized my mom has converted my old bedroom into a brand new office space – complete with a flat screen TV and a state-of-the-art scanner!
So, for the past few weeks I’ve been stumbling around the Internet, searching for temporary jobs and even more temporary homes. Surprisingly, I’ve found a lot – apartment renters seeking summer sublets, non-profit organizations looking for friendly receptionists. And of course, internships galore.

The “Summer Internship” is a touchy subject with me. As much as I admire the whole concept of “getting your foot in the door” of the professional world, there’s something about the word internship that sends panic signals throughout my whole body. Maybe it’s the idea of working without pay, or wearing a pantsuit every day, or maybe it’s the fact that I’m almost finished my second year of college and still have no idea what I want to do with my life.
Whatever the reason, the thousand pound weight that is “the internship” has landed on my shoulders and I can’t shake it off. So, I applied to a few internships in the hopes of getting my parents and teachers off my back. I looked up some places to live in College Park, D.C., I even went a little wild and put my name on a few lists in New York City. And once I was done patting myself on the back for doing exactly what I was supposed to, I couldn’t help but feel like a little bit of a sell-out.
And that’s when I realized that I’m only twenty years old, and that I don’t need to have everything figured out yet. As cheesy as that sounds, I really do think that if there’s any time to try and fail, it’s in your twenties. These next few years are what I like to think of as the trial and error period of our lives. We can try new things, travel to different places, live with weird people.
And this is the only time in our lives that we can do this without being weighed down by all the consequences of the adult world. We don’t have expensive mortgages to pay, huge families to feed, or high-paying careers to attend to. We’re completely unhinged, and it’s the best feeling in the world.

This summer is our opportunity to figure out what we really like to do. For some of you, maybe that means finding a great internship with a world-renowned company. Maybe it means slapping on a backpack and traveling for a few months. Maybe it means landing a waitressing job and racking up tips.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t let the pressure of becoming a real adult keep you from having a good time. As for me, I’m going to Toronto for a while with a few friends, in search of the best underground coffee shops and a flawless Canadian accent.

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