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The Emotional Rollercoaster That is Applying to Jobs

Are you in the process of applying to summer jobs and internships? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one frustrated with the endless applications, behavioural tests and cover letters. It may feel like the application process never ends, but, coming from a person who just thankfully completed this whole process, I can promise you that you’ll come out better than when you started. Whether you’ve done the application process, are in the middle of it or even just started, you might be able to relate to some of these manic emotions that usually accompany the whole process. 

I found that when the time arrived to start applying for summer internships, I was not mentally nor emotionally prepared to take a seat in this rollercoaster. So, naturally, that resulted in procrastination. I tried putting off as many applications as I could. I’d look through the deadline dates and tell myself: “The application isn’t even due for another two weeks. I have time.” If you can avoid this kind of mindset, it’s something I definitely encourage. This led to me applying to a few jobs here and there, recording the ones I’ve applied to in my Excel sheet (which is a great way to keep track of what you’ve applied to and when) and putting off some more applications that were due at later dates.

As these due dates crept closer, I found myself getting pretty anxious and picking up the pace. This is when I really started to get into it. The more I applied to jobs, tweaked my cover letter and sent out applications, the more I wanted to keep going. Although I was the slightest bit anxious about it, I was definitely still excited about applying to these opportunities. I kept thinking about how great it would be to have a summer job where I could gain hands-on experience and explore different positions in my dream field of work. This really encouraged me to keep working hard and getting applications out.

As time passed, it became pretty difficult to balance schoolwork with the number of jobs I had to apply for. I started to feel guilty when I was applying for jobs because I felt like I should be doing schoolwork. Conversely, when I was doing schoolwork, I felt like I should be applying for jobs. The added pressure of not yet hearing back from anyone really spiked my emotions and unease. Time was passing and I had applied to so many jobs; why wasn’t I hearing back from anyone?

This led me to switch gears. I was firing out resumes left, right and center. I was way past the point of altering each cover letter for every single job I was applying for. If the application didn’t require a cover letter, you bet I wasn’t attaching one. Thank god for LinkedIn’s “easy apply” feature because it cut my application time down by a significant amount. At this point, I think I had applied to around sixty jobs in around two to three weeks. I’m not sure if there’s any term coined for this, but you could definitely say I was application crazy.

Eventually (and thankfully), I started hearing back from jobs about interviews. This was such a great feeling, but it didn’t last too long. I realized I actually had to talk to people about myself. I knew I had to do it, so I threw a smile on my face and toughed it out. These interviews had me start to think more about my future and what I was going to do after undergrad. Cue the anxiety again. I was involuntarily trying to plan out my future based on the summer intern opportunities I had, which really made no sense. I applied to generally the same types of jobs, but each one varied a little. Looking back at this now, it was silly to think such minor differences in summer jobs would affect my future that much. This really helped me realize that I should focus more on living in the present, and less on the future which I can’t control too well.

After some of these long interview processes, I finally accepted a job that I’m so excited to start. It’s definitely a little scary to start something new, but I can’t be happier that the whole application process has finally come to an end. Hopefully, my experience helped you realize you’re not the only one going through this and that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel!

Tamara Jefak

Wilfrid Laurier '22

Tamara is in her third year at Wilfrid Laurier University and is pursuing a double major in English and Communication Studies. Alongside writing, she enjoys traveling, sparkling water, and dancing in the kitchen while cooking with her roommates.
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