But she hasn't found an internship for the summer and was, in all honesty, freaking out. She asked for some guidance on what her next step should be.
After rehashing multiple internship scenarios, I said, "Would it be that bad if you just went home and got a job this summer?"
She proceeded to launch into how she really wanted to be on orientation staff this summer at her school. It was something she was passionate about. She wanted to show the incoming freshmen exactly how great her college can be. She wanted to have a different experience than working for a television or radio station or newspaper full time for the summer.
College is a time to figure out exactly what you want to do. Participating in activities, like orientation staff and service projects, are a way for students to find out exactly what they enjoy. However, in a field like communications, internships can make or break your future career. And the pressure to get them is intense. They are so crucial to success.
But summer activities like O-Staff or Service Projects or tour guiding also provide another important feature. They prevent early burnout.
They give your life perspective; Remind you that not everything is about work. They let you regroup and rediscover your passions, while still being productive.
That's exactly what happened to me last summer. I had a rough spring semester in terms of my career and was incredibly stressed out. I needed a breather from balancing the academic and journalism grind, even for a little bit. I was leaving for London in July to work with NBC at the Olympics, but felt that I probably should make some money before I left.
I went and worked at a Gifted and Talented Summer camp at a local university where I worked with bright students ranging in age from 6-12. What an experience! It was a lot of fun, helping with academic classes they would take in the morning and ensuring they had a fun time in the afternoon with regular "summer camp" activities. Those munchkins brought me back and reminded me what I loved.
My passion for sports journalism and broadcasting was probably saved by splitting that summer with work and an internship. I was lucky in the sense that I had the opportunity and the support to do both. I can't say the same for a lot of my friends.
And that has to change.