I don’t know about anyone else, but the start of quarantine came with several other challenges besides not seeing my friends for 6+ months. I found myself sitting in my room worrying about how in the world was I going to land some huge internship or position next summer if so many opportunities that interest me were being cancelled left and right. I knew that not all paid programs and opportunities over the summer (and throughout the school year) have the capability to go virtual, and so they’re left with no other choice but to cancel.
This thought had me feeling extremely anxious for a couple of months until I realized that I was not alone in this sense of panic over landing a “large enough” opportunity during the upcoming academic year and summer.
The realization that so many college students were also freaking out about programs being canceled or inaccessible during a pandemic got me to thinking about how there is so much pressure placed on college students to achieve or do something “big” in order to stand out and make themselves more appealing to whatever their next step is in the upcoming year or after graduation.
Yet, this should be the least of our concerns right now. Staying safe and taking care of ourselves is the “big” opportunity that we all should be immensely proud of for achieving, not to mention that just because a “smaller” opportunity comes your way doesn’t mean that it won’t have a huge impact. Size is relative after all, right?
Opportunities of all kinds are amazing, because if we’re being honest, an opportunity is what you make of it. Just because someone lands a prestigious internship doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll change their life for the better automatically. Any opportunity that speaks to your passions and goals is a big opportunity because it’s a chance to learn, better yourself, and best of all, be immersed in something you absolutely love.
I think it’s especially important to not get too wrapped up in the expectation to do something prestigious in college right now because, frankly, anything you achieve right now is kind of a big deal. Everyone is juggling a lot right now and we’re all adjusting to living our lives differently, so don’t feel bad about doing something simply because it interests you, now or in the future.
While not judging an opportunity based on prestige might be a lesson some of us are starting to learn now, I think that it’s applicable throughout life whether there’s a global pandemic or not. Opportunities are everywhere and the form or medium they come in changes depending on the person and their goals. Regardless of what an opportunity might look like for you, don’t overthink it! Any opportunity that sparks your interest is huge and worth doing.