Of Internships and Brick Walls

Well, it’s official: I’m (almost) done applying for summer internships! And the “almost” means all I have left is the one that has to go out by mail.

...Seriously? You’re going to make me buy 8x10 envelopes, use some of my printing money to print out cover letter/resume/writing samples, drag my butt to the post office, and spend MORE money to send it? Really? How archaic!

I mean, let’s not kid ourselves. I’m going do it. But I’d really much rather click “upload,” fill in a few blanks, and click “send.” Honestly though, I WISH it was that simple!

Applying for internships is almost as stressful as applying for college. It might even be MORE stressful, because I knew for a fact that I’d be getting into college. With internships, I could completely whiff on all of them. I shouldn’t (and hopefully I won’t!), but I could. *bites nails*

First, there’s the whole resume process. Updating it, tearing your hair out to try and make everything fit on one page, taking it to Toppel to get critiqued, tearing your hair out some more trying to make it look nice, and then sending it to your second cousin to look at and having the format completely changed ANYWAY. It was all enough to make me want to curl up under my quilt and, in the words of Dane Cook, “take a coma” until August.

(I really did appreciate all the help, though. Thanks Larry! <3)

And writing a cover letter? Oh boy. That was a fun process. And I know I can write well! But I was still staring at a blank Word document for longer than I care to admit. I think they ended up turning out pretty well, though.

Then there was the ordeal of figuring out application deadlines, which meant going through every internship website I’d bookmarked (note: it was a lot). But the best part (/sarcasm) is that most of them didn’t even have a date listed! One had an actual date, one had a week, and one had a day they’d post the actual applications by. That’s it. Fast fact: I work better under some kind of deadline, or with some kind of guidelines. This open-ended baloney? Not so much!

(Of course, this was just me being a worrier. I know the selection process happens in early April, and the deadlines I DID have were for the first week in March, so I connected the dots and followed the breadcrumbs. Hey, at least I know when I’m being overly dramatic, right? :P)

Then came the actual applying. Oh, how I wish it were as easy as upload and send! Each one has its own system, which meant making an account on each one, and then filling in all the information that’s already on your resume, even though you’ll just be uploading your resume at the end ANYWAY. A couple of the websites used the same system for internships, which I didn’t realize until I’d already submitted a specifically-tailored resume/cover letter to one of them. Whoops. Redo!

And the resume-upload option for the USOC internships just uploads it straight into a text box, which proceeds to completely botch the format. It made me really nervous, but I submitted them like that anyway, since there was nothing I could do about it. The content is all the same, though, so that should be what matters! Power of positive thinking! :)

It’s nice to finally be (almost) done (though I’m still wondering when I’ll have time to go to the post office)! Between studying for midterms, staying on top of reading (yeah, I’m one of those nerds that actually does the readings our syllabi tell us to), trying to finish (read: start) my gazillion-page sitcom analysis, writing for the paper, work, and applying for internships, I’ve been a giant ball of stress for the last week or so.

Applications were so tedious and aggravating, that as I was feeling the pressure of the real world and life and school and the potential of failure crushing in on me, I wondered if it was worth it. Why bother spending so much time and effort applying for things I might not even get?

But then Randy Pausch, the eternal voice of reason, the author of the only nonfiction book that has ever made me cry like a baby, popped into my head.

"Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people."


Annoying applications aren’t even a brick wall. They’re like one of those little plastic pails in your way when you’re walking on the beach. Definitely annoying when you stub your toe on it, but extremely easy to kick to the side and keep walking.

And lets be honest: I’d jump through hoops to get an awesome internship this summer. (And for the USOC, I’d do it literally. Gimme a hoop!)

But as of right now, most brick walls have been climbed, most pails kicked away, and most hoops jumped through.

Now I’m in that awkward limbo stage. Luckily, the limbo I dealt with for Endurance was more intense than probably anything like it I could ever experience. That thrill knowing they’ve received your audition tape in the mail, the agonizing nerves as the days slipped away and the deadline got closer, hoping for the best but expecting the worst, having a thousand heart attacks every time the phone rang…

Been there, done that. Twice.

It’s the same thing now. I applied for the USOC internships today, and felt that same little flicker of “OMGIDIDIT! AAAHHHHHYAYAYAYAY!”

But after a few seconds, there was the same shifty glance around the room, wondering how I’m going to deal with not knowing for another month or so.

*Glances at the calendar and taps fingers impatiently*

Is it April 4th yet?

No? Well then, one more Randy Pausch quote, because I love the man. (And because I not-so-secretly hope he’s right!)

"It's not about how to achieve your dreams, it's about how to lead your life, ... If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you."

1 comment :

  1. And, don't forget to be a Tigger, not an Eeyore! I, too, love Randy Pausch. And Larry. It's much harder to stress with you from so far away. I won't be able to scream and hug and jump up and down with you when you get good news this time around. Can't wait for good news and a wonderful outcome!!!