Before we get down to how I over-thought and blew up this situation completely out of proportion, let’s start with the back story!
I’m a Computer Science undergrad and from the beginning of the semester I have been listening to my seniors and seminar lecturers constantly saying that I would not be considered for a decent job if I didn’t have credible internships or achievements under my belt. While this was true, I was fresh out of school and kinda scared and intimidated by people talking about ‘today’s market scenario‘, ‘employment rates‘ and MANY other things I had no idea about but which would affect my career greatly. So, I was pretty convinced that I should join internships and similiar courses for exposure and skills.
The downside to this was that I was very gullible – I jumped at any training offer or course material which was circulated in my class group or I came across online . Thankfully, I had a friend who made me understand NOT to pursue this blindly and actually think about what kind of course I actually want to do.
Time passed and suddenly I was constantly frustrated by the fact that I had almost finished my first semester and I hadn’t done anything. Maybe that’s because I was planning to do so much and I actually thought that 4 years would not be enough.
Anyways, a couple of months later I applied for more than a dozen internships at Internshala for Content Writing and similiar fields because I had no technical skills except the knowledge of basic C++ and Web Development and English had always been my strong point.
That is when it started. Day in, day out I was constantly refreshing my mail and checking the website to see if I had any responses. It was like a mania – I would freak out if I didn’t check my mail for like, 30 mins. After a week, I started getting responses and I sent out a bunch of demos . All this did was increase the frequency by which I clicked on the refresh button.
After another crazy week, I scored a position with 10 other interns at a great place. My boss was very friendly and I was enjoying it! But the problem began when I was selected for another internship someplace else. I really wanted to do something so I convinced myself I could actually work at both places! My parents even told me that I would be biting off more than I could chew but I thought I could juggle both of them. Bad idea.
The thing is, I was still travelling 24 kms daily to reach college and spending another 2 hours coming back. I had no time in the morning and by the time I reached home in the evening, I was completely exhausted. I realised that I could not keep up with both the internships and decided to drop one of them. I should have dropped the one which was less pressuring for me but I chose to keep the one which paid me more bucks (hence, was more demanding). Not a proud moment for me, frankly.
I was still enjoying it till it became so boring and so monotonous that I even though I was clocking in 3+ hours a day, I still had a huge gap in my work. I just had zero motivation to try to do it! The quality of work I was doing was great – I was in my boss’ good books – but I just didn’t feel it. It was not my thing and it was starting to give me awful headaches. Plus, it was getting hard to keep up with my other commitments! I didn’t want to leave it without getting atleast a month’s pay so I dragged it for 2-3 more weeks. But the problem was, because of my work lag, I had not finished a complete month’s work. I was frustrated, tired and I was fighting daily with the people around me because of it!
Finally, I talked about leaving it without getting and so, I went ahead and left the internship. You see, even though it was not the smartest choice, I slept well that night. After weeks. And that is what mattered to me most!
This was my first experience and honestly, I messed it up because I was stressed about getting something done that I did not do in the right way. But I did learn a lot of things!
-> I made peace with the fact that I do not need to do everything RIGHT NOW. Time will take it’s course and I need to do things at my OWN pace. Not only does this give me my peace of mind, it lets me enjoy my hobbies and my ‘me’ time!
-> Instead of wasting my time doing things which would not contribute greatly to my resume, I have decided to spend a year learning and honing my skills in my chosen field so that I can participate in meaningful projects and satisfactory internships.
-> I had to fill up many, many ‘Why should I hire you’ questions and it did get me thinking. It struck me how much trouble I had writing this, and this has encouraged me into being able to convince other people of my skills, and develop certain qualities which would be desirable to employers.
-> I learnt to loosen up a little by starting slow and doing something enjoyable instead of jumping the gun and getting shot! I starting giving time to my meaningful relationships instead of staying glued to a computer screen all day long.
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