Still Looking For an Internship?
Spring break just bid adieu, leaving us with only about seven more weeks of classes. So naturally all that’s left for us to do is bite our nails, pull our hair, and constantly scroll through the OCS website worrying about summer plans. Since the start of this year, I’ve been polishing my resume, tweaking my cover letter template, and applying to more internships than I can remember. And yet, it’s almost the start of April and I have not yet received a single congratulatory email. Instead, all I have to relish are automated responses thanking me for applying.
So fellow Harvardians, what did I do? Of course, I quickly (but briefly) went into existential-crisis mode, questioning my choices and future and misreading arbitrary events as signs that my life was falling apart, all eventually leading to a teary phone conversation with my mother who soothed me the way only mothers know how. It goes without saying that to a collegiate, “Summer” holds the most valuable possession: time. Time to do whatever you want—time to make a difference, to save starving children, to create a start-up, to expand that resume.
What I realized after all of my panic was that though I didn’t have an all-expense paid trip to South Africa or wasn’t enrolled to take classes in Spain, my lack of plans can be taken as my freedom to plan. I’m sure many of you reading this will chastise me for my optimism, but sometimes you’ve just got to make the best of a crummy situation.
Make some cash. Getting a job over the summer is never a bad idea—whether it’s in retail, at a law firm, babysitting, etc. working can help you save up money you might need for next summer. Working for someone can be a humbling and educational experience (oh experience, that little thing we all need but never have enough of). It’ll force you to sign out of Netflix, get off of your bed, and actually be productive.
Do that thing you said you would do
You know that thing? The thing you never had time to do but said you’d always do when you did have time? Guess what—you have that time and that time is now. Whether it’s starting a novel, learning to play piano, building a birdhouse, whatever floats your boat, you finally have no excuses not to do it. Create! Make! Do!
For those of us with bigger hearts and better morals, public service is an option to make yourself look and feel good. It’s hard to say no to legal unpaid labor, so there are tons of opportunities ranging from local to international ones. Many organizations, like the PBHA Summer Urban Program, are still accepting applications, so it’s not too late to start looking now.
At Harvard we have access to a rich pool of alumni. If you’re hoping to move forward in your career, it can be helpful to contact alums working in your field of interest and asking to shadow them. This way you can get a better idea of what you want to do in life, which is all we want isn’t it?
I always feel that in the rush and anxiety of making summer plans, we often forget that it is a vacation. Harvard life is stressful, so decompress with summer life. There will be sun and warmth—two things that have become foreign to us frozen dwellers. Take it in, cherish it, and let it bring you some peace of mind.
If this post, written by a somewhat clueless freshman, doesn’t help you, and you stick your nose up to such tomfoolery, you can always seek professional help. Visit the Office of Career Services or talk to a proctor about what you can do. Summer still isn’t here yet—you still have a bajillion more midterms and finals, so chill. There is still time, no matter how limited.