Staying on Campus for the Summer

Let’s talk about staying on campus for the summer.

Since we’ve probably never met before/maybe you haven’t read my bio, I’m Maggie, an English and Economics double major with a minor in Informatics.

Was staying in Champaign-Urbana this summer always part of some grand plan? No, not really. There’s a lot of pressure to make the summer between junior and senior year an Impressive Internship Summer, and I did have a grand plan that involved interning in some far off place that was neither my hometown, nor Champaign-Urbana. I had an internship last summer that I commuted to from home, which was a really positive experience if you subtract the commuting part. Rush hour is too real, my friends.

This summer, I wanted something different.

However, part of my problem—a recurring problem for me—is that I still don’t know what I want to do after graduation. I’m earning a liberal arts degree with a technical minor, and that doesn’t really point me in one specific direction, which is equal parts cool and terrifying. After graduation, I know I want to get a job. Some job, any job. And maybe go to grad school once some job, any job gives me a little insight into what would be worth going to grad school for.

In summary: I could do anything and everything! But also, yikes, what do I do???

So here’s where I sing the praises of summer internships. In January, I threw my resume and cover letter at a lot of different types of internships in a lot of different places. Without a specific career in mind, I wanted one that would make for a fulfilling summer while helping me puzzle out my future. If I landed I job I enjoyed, then great! If it was all my nightmares come alive, fantastic! Because either way, I would know a little more about myself and what career is right for me.

Internships are like free samples at the grocery store. You either end up going home with a new brand of frozen pizza, or you have a “nah, not for me” moment in the freezer section.

Gif via Tumblr / NBC

What I ended up accepting was an internship here at the university in the Office of Communications for Enrollment Management (basically, I work for Admissions). I’m the Editorial Intern, and I am happy to report it is not all my nightmares come alive.

I don’t regret deciding to stay on campus for the summer, and for as many serious reasons as fun ones.

I’m being paid to write. I like what I do and the people I do it with. I’m gaining really valuable experience. I’m making use of my 12-month apartment lease. So far, I’ve seen one of my favorite bands live for the first time in downtown Champaign. I’ve tried bouldering. I successfully made slow cooker enchiladas.

Don’t worry if things don’t always go as planned. I don’t pretend to be wise, but I do know that things will work out with your classes or your RSO or your summer plans. You never know when an experience is going to lead to something great, and if you don’t believe me, believe Steve Jobs.

College is a lot of things and a lot of things that were never part of your plan. That’s what makes it awesome.




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