Life of an intern
Taking a year out was like one of those special breathers you take mid vomiting, mid swimming in the deep end, mid crying, all that jazz. Coming to a consensus to undertake this was definitely a walk in the park but actually executing it? Let’s just say your dog ran away and you’ve had to run the whole perimeter of the park to catch it.
And you’ve stepped in a pile of dog business which has probably deterred you from wanting to continue chasing but you do so anyway, because that’s your dog, right?
Finding and keeping a placement felt exactly like the above scenario. The process was ultimately trial and error and in all honesty, I wasn’t ready.
Disclaimer: I had the most amazing experience with a company that altered my growth in the best way possible, despite all the setbacks.m
Allow me to reintroduce myself:
My first few days we’re completely alien. As I am an observer, I spent weeks analyzing everyone. From how many sugars one puts in their tea to how enthusiastic they were when greeting others. Who would be great to personally reach out to? Who’s banter wouldn’t actually need a fake laugh? Who’s going to be the first to unleash the bubbly personality trapped inside of this shy body? Who’s sneaky and would report back to gossip?
Who would just genuinely make a good friend?
I held back on the observation for a while and just accepted everything for what it was. That’s when I soon came to a conclusion and I must say, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
I guess paranoia came to say hello and over welcomed its visit because I sure did have the most trivial assumptions that just wouldn’t go away. I had woken up early that cold October day; the earliest I had ever woken up after that sweet summer 2016 and realized that this was exactly how it was going to be during the rest of my time there. More so, this is exactly what it’s like in the working world.
Anxiety came out to play too. Not even at 2am in the morning when you can’t sleep. You know when you’re just doing life; laughing away with friends, on your way to Tesco, then you suddenly just stop....
Heavy hearts and toilet breaks
If you can’t take the heat then get out of the kitchen, right? Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t that simple. Well it wasn’t as if I was locked up in solitary confinement without the free will to go where I liked because I did. Let’s just say the bathroom was my getaway driver.
Passive aggressive emails at 9am you just want to bring out your inner Tracy Beaker. New additions to your to do list on top of the ones you’re yet to accomplish you just want to smash the precious mac laptop into pieces. A simple question followed by “????????” In your emails you just want to tell the sender to buck you by the printer.
Regular toilet breaks put me at ease. It reminded me that my well being came first before anything. The only place in the office where you’re guaranteed alone time. Walk into the kitchen you think you’re alone but don’t worry, talkative Tara will soon join you and ask if you’ve done something to your hair because yesterday it was long and today it is short. The only place in the office where I could confidently stare into space, cry, give myself pet talks, you name it.
Took me a while to grasp the below:
Mental health > work
Physicaal health > work
I guess you’re not such a bad bunch after all.
My thoughts and feelings had been concealed from my colleagues for far too long. I must have forgotten why I took on a placement in the first place. Yes, for the experience but I was determined to grasp the fact that personal bonding and connections were just as important.
Building friendly relationships with my colleagues reminded me that there was definitely more to life than work. You think they constantly spoke about work? By the end of my first week, I knew the name of my manger’s boyfriend’s sister’s son.
We started wearing less and going out more.
Putting my apprehensiveness to the side exposed me to a myriad of positivity, not only within the team but in myself. Attending events and casual social outings with the team diminished the introvert wall I had built.
When you start your placement 4/5 months later than your peers due to constant rejection, I mean yeah, gratitude is sky high but your initial attitude wouldn’t exactly be rainbows and ponies.
I figured I tended to bypass the bright side of things. I had been blessed with an opportunity so close to my aspiration that despite unnerving phases, my resilience game came back stronger than ever. From first walking in on October 17th 2016 and leaving on August 17th 2017, this became one of the biggest transitions in my life thus far.
Trust the process
Trust always requires having some unanswered questions in our lives.
If something bad happens, as hard as it is, we shouldn’t try and figure it out. Putting our trust in God means knowing that he will come through for us at the other side.
He either takes away the pain or gives us the strength to get through it. I without a doubt still battle with this, but remembering that I have survived the most hardest phases of my life in the past gives me the reassurance that I crave.
Things always work out.
2017 was predominately the year of ‘the real world’ for me. Despite occasionally stressing out as if I had a mortgage to pay off and 3 snotty nosed kids to look after, I began to give myself more credit. Since I’m the ‘OK so what now’ type of person when it comes to accomplishing goals and tasks that may seem a big deal to others, but mediocre to me, I began to drown myself in positive affirmations. Journaling played a huge part, and even jotting things down in the notes pages came in handy. (I swear I’m lost without that app) I created my own list of affirmations that I’d read over from time to time, where most of them equated to self-celebrations no matter how big or small.
When I completed my placement I gave myself the biggest pat on the back. I didn’t even think it was a big deal at first, but there was no way I was about to overlook all of my hard work, sleepless nights, steps out of my comfort zone, courage and determination.
For most of us, this has been the season of new beginnings; new jobs, a new academic year, a new venture. Whatever it is, although unpleasant feelings like fear and anxiety could naturally tap us on the shoulder, we must be sure to never allow it to dominate us.
What have you learned in 2017? What are some of your plans for 2018? Feel free to comment below!
Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year!