This is a guest post by Megan Deis for Student Stories.
Stress, road blocks, tough decisions and sleepless nights….all of these are challenges faced by Americans, but when you are a college student struggling to find out who you are and what you want to accomplish within your lifetime, these things seem to happen habitually.
After switched schools, switching majors, and taking an “easy year” with only a few classes at the local community college, I finally transferred to a university I love and discovered my true passion in psychology. How people think, how people react to situations, people’s attitudes and peoples predispositions, I love it all.
As soon as I began reading my psychology textbooks for fun I realized this was something I was truly interested in. I was ecstatic to have finally found the topic I want to expand my knowledge on. I soon realized though, just because I liked studying a subject didn’t mean I was headed anywhere specific. I knew I had to pull myself together and get started in a direction, thus began my internship search. Yes, my resume was jam packed with volunteering opportunities and odd jobs but nothing says “This girl has real world experience…” like an internship. Am I right?
My older sister, the star child of the family, completed an internship her junior year of college and currently has a salary job with the company she interned for. I could practically feel the pressure of my parents placing cinder blocks onto my shoulders. Since I transferred, though the new school and college experience was everything I could hope for, I always felt a little jumbled and behind. It seemed as if I was constantly dealing with credits that didn’t transfer or “freshmen problems” like “Where the heck do I find a fax machine on campus?”, so it was no surprise when my window of internship applications was closing quickly and I had only applied for a few perspective companies.
There are many directions a major in psychology can take you, and I was terrified that if I applied for a social psychology marketing internship I would be stuck in that part of the psychology field forever. I would wake up each morning to go to my job I ‘not so secretly’ detested. My worst nightmare! Therefore, I only applied for a few internships that involved helping others with psychological problems, behavioral issues, anxiety, and OCD because my main interest is in Personality Psychology.
Waiting was torturous but eventually one of the few internships emailed me to set up a phone interview. I was so incredibly excited I didn’t even realize how nervous I was until the day of the interview when the woman asked “What qualities do you possess that would make you a great fit for our company?” and I replied “Uhhhh…well I’m nice, and uhhhh… my horoscope says I am patient”. (Word of advice. Do not talk about horoscopes during a very important interview. Luckily she had a sense of humor and laughed…a lot).
After the interview, where the nice woman on the phone made it evidently clear that she had MANY perspective students to interview and she would ‘keep me posted’, I made sure to try and find other options. I was not holding my breath for that internship.
Eventually, April approached and I slowly realized I had no plan. School was beginning to pile on countless ‘end of semester’ projects and there was mention of perspective study guide’s for finals. I was beginning to freak out a little, (COMPLETELY FREAK OUT!) I tried to play it off in my head, “It’s no big deal! You can have an amazing summer hanging out with friends. You can take a summer off and go on road trips with friends, try out all the cool eatery’s downtown and attend a million concerts. It will be the summer of a lifetime.” But truth be told, I had no money to do that, or even an easy summer job set up for the summer.
I tried searching for last minute internships or volunteer opportunities that had a least a little association with the study of psychology. Eventually I found a volunteering assignment for the summer. It was not what I wanted, sitting in on court cases to learn how to be a victim advocate, but it was something.
Then, a few weeks after the volunteer opportunity arose, I heard from one of the last minute internships I had applied for (What? Is this really happening?). It was unpaid, and I would be babysitting victim’s children who reside in the Battered Women’s Shelter, but it was an internship and I would be helping people!
Then, a week later, I heard from the internship I had applied for, interviewed for and truly aspired for! Apparently my mother lied to me, my sense of humor will get me somewhere someday!
At first I had no opportunities. My summer was free and full of only perspective sea breeze and sunshine but now I had…options? What?!
As this school year fades away, my older sister is graduating, my friends are scattering off to follow through with their summer plans, I am headed to Tennessee for a paid internship where I will be helping disgruntled youth with behavioral and mental problems. This is exactly what I wanted and I could not be happier.
Sometimes what you want seems unattainable. Sometimes what you wish for is within your grasp but you mess it up. But sometimes, when you stay calm, think positive and work hard towards what you want, things will work out!
Life is hard, but you are stronger than any rock or roadblock it throws your way!
About the Author:
Hi! My name is Megan Deis and I am currently a junior at Miami University studying psychopathology and personality psychology. I aspire to help those who can’t help themselves! I love writing, art, yoga, psychology and being a kid. Growing up is scary and I am all about staying in, eating half-baked cookies, and watching Disney movies (Can I get a “Whoop! Whoop!” for Brother Bear, Frozen and A Bug’s Life?).