The Art of Interning into Adulthood

September 14, 2017

Oscar Wilde, in his 1889 essay “The Decay of Lying,” said that “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” and at that moment, one could certainly say that my life was perfecting the art of being an absolute slob. It’s early May and I have just graduated with an associate’s degree in Communications, yet I have no idea exactly what I’m supposed to do with it.

 

Photo: Ben White

 

Unlike most of my peers who will be transferring to four-year universities, I had just been rejected from my dream school. This now meant that, at the slew of graduation parties that consumed my summer months, when I was forced to awkwardly converse with everyone from high school that I never wanted to see again, I’d have to let them know that I’d be working at the coffee shop in the village for the rest of my life.

 

 

While simultaneously wallowing and scrolling through Instagram, dressed in a college t-shirt from said rejected dream school, paired with oversized vintage Levi’s that I snagged from an accidental walk of shame freshman year of college, I came across a story from Who What Wear. It was highlighting a summer internship for College Fashionista. I knew little of what it entailed, but was I in any position to turn down an internship opportunity? Absolutely not.

 

Hitting the “see more” button on that Instagram story will be a defining moment in my life. A few weeks later I received an internship packet from College Fashionista. It felt surreal and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle it. I traded in my sad t-shirt, borrowed jeans (which I never ended up giving back), and my habit of wallowing over Instagram in for a notepad, pen, and a brand-new attitude.

 

Working with a deadline meant that I had to choose better, more efficient ways of getting my work done; this meant no more procrastinating. To develop healthy habits, I adopted a few essentials to keep me on track:

 

Use Organizers—Planners, agendas, organizers. Call them what you will but, shockingly, they help disorganized people like myself stay on track.

 

Bullet Journal—Not only is it trendy, but having a creative journal offers a physical place to collect and find inspiration, whether it’s for school, work, or leisure.

 

Know Your Technology—Being an intern meant that I had to check my email inbox 24/7. I learned a lot about how to use a computer during my internship, so now when I put “computer efficient” on my resume, I really meant it this time.

 

My accidental internship gave me the push I needed. Wanting to do well at something, especially an internship, is so encouraging. I started to prioritize work over my social life, which sounds scary, but it largely contributed to my dedication level as a student today. Thanks to this internship, I can now say that I am enrolled in university to finish my degree, and in the spring, I will have completed my third internship. Go figure, life’s a mystery.

 

James Chamberlain is 20 years old from Leicester, England. He currently lives in New York where he studies Fashion Journalism and minors in Global Gender Studies. James has previously written with The College Fashionista and The Monroe Doctrine.​

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