“Carpe Dang”: 3 of My Intern Regrets and My Plans to Seize the Day
Last summer, I served as a congressional intern in the Nation’s Capitol. While I had a great experience working and living in the city, there were a few ways I wish I would have seized more opportunities. In summer 2016, I plan to capitalize on every chance I get to make this an unforgettable summer. Carpe Diem!.
Regret-Pinching Pennies: Experiencing a new city is not the time to be cheap. During my last internship, I did not try some new restaurants or go out to do different tours of the town because I did not want to spend too much money. I was not even saving for anything in particular. All the money I “saved” just reminded me of all the good times I missed and all of my internship money was eventually spent on something for school in the fall.
Seize-Splurge a Little: While it’s important to save, I also want to use my money to do adventurous things with other interns, like exploring a new city. College students are pretty carefree. At the end of the day, if I’m not happy and fulfilled, it doesn’t matter how much money I have in the bank. This summer, I vow to not let money get in the way of my happiness. I will be sure to use some of my money to have some fun in the sun!
Regret-Being a Caterpillar: When I first moved to DC for the summer, I found it hard to open up with the other interns, even though everyone was friendly! After giving introductions prior to the internship via a Facebook group, I remember feeling somewhat intimidated by everything that everyone had accomplished and how much older everyone was than me. These feelings of “am I good enough” and “can I be on their level” consumed me. I didn’t start really hanging out and sharing things about myself with the other interns until about the last two weeks of my program, when it was too late. In those 2 weeks, I did went out to brunch, explored U Street, and attended church with the interns.
How much more fulfilling would my summer have been if I had taken this approach at the beginning instead of the end of summer?
Now, when interns refer to different experiences and adventures in our Groupme, most of the time, I was not there. Some of my cohort has studied abroad, won awards, spoke in front of various audiences, started scholarship funds, and won Student Government Association elections. Seeing how amazing everyone is doing and talking to people on an individual basis, I really regret not getting to know the other interns better. Even though we are not all together anymore, everyone is so supportive of each other via messages, calls, texts, and social media shout outs! I am usually very open and outgoing, so for me to not show that side of myself was unusual.
Seize-Becoming a Social Butterfly: This summer, I vow to let everyone see the true Kristen: outgoing, caring, silly, and smart! I will not wait because then it may be too late. Building relationships over the summer can lead to lifelong friendships. You never want to close yourself off to the possibility of making new friends. The picture below is from the end of the summer cookout we had!
Regret-Being a Wallfower: If I am being honest, I did not go bike riding in DC because I was afraid I would fall or get hit. Though I did some new things, I did not seize every day. After working 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, the only activity I wanted to do after work was relax and sleep. I did enjoy the receptions I attended, such as the Rock and Roll reception where I took a selfie with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and my tour of the Library of Congress, but I did not do enough! Fellow interns visited the White House and other historic buildings, visited the Zoo, partied at clubs, ate Sunday brunch, and so much more while I was in the bed. Sounds crazy right?
Seize-Smell the Roses: Looking back on my internship, I see that it was crazy that I did not go more places. I vow to be more sane this summer, but still try some wild things! Skydiving? I’m there. Concerts? What time? Dance lessons? Let’s groove. This summer will be all about new adventures. I challenge you to try new things as well.
Reflecting on my internship last summer, I do have regrets. I want first-time interns to use my regrets as a learning experience, so they will have a fulfilling summer. I want to be the exact opposite this summer. I vow to be more carefree. I want to be bold, open, build social value, focus on impact, and move fast. After all, this summer I’ll be in California as an Instagram Product Marketing Intern at Facebook!
Do you have any regrets from a summer job or internship? What will you do to make this summer the best? Any advice? Feel free to comment below!
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