If you’ve ever been a summer intern, you know how real the struggle can be.
Between mastering the coffee maker, making it through your first meeting, and keeping it together when your desk phone rings — sacrificing your summer for work experience can be all kinds of stressful. Rewarding, yes, but mostly stressful.
Below, the 11 stages of being a summer intern, from start to finish:
Receiving that “Congrats, you’re hired!” email was one of the best days of the year, if only for the fact that you can stop updating your résumé for a few months.
2. Freak Out
As your start date approaches, your panic increases exponentially. Are you even qualified for this job? You probably are. Kind of. Or else they wouldn’t have hired you, right? RIGHT?
After all, intern status basically gives you license to screw up pretty much anything. Even your boss was an intern once — they’ll understand
You show up an hour early to your first day and you’re ready to take on the world. That is, until the phone on your desk rings.
5. Freak Out 2.0
Never mind, you’re definitely not qualified for this. Your boss saw you taking a Snapchat of your stapler and you told that joke you’ve been thinking about for a week — no one laughed. You’ll never forget it, but don’t worry, your co-workers already have.
Although your workload is overwhelming, you keep saying “yes” to each new task. Maybe someone will be impressed and offer you a full-time job. Or if you’re quiet enough they might forget you exist.
When that first compliment comes along, all the blood, sweat and anxiety seem worth it. You can’t remember the last time you felt so proud of yourself. And yeah, you treat yourself to a Snickers from the vending machine.
You’ve happily sacrificed your summer for an internship that you love, but seeing your friend’s trip to Bali on Instagram makes you wonder if you should just give up on adulating and become a beach bum.
9. The Groove
You’ve finally settled in and things are going great. You and your coworkers have inside jokes and follow each other on Instagram. The only downside? Your internship ends in a week.
The final day of your internship has come. LET FREEDOM RING. Enjoy the free pizza, endure awkward goodbyes with those who never learned your name, and step out into the world with your shiny new work experience.
Whether you’re heading back to college for another year or being whisked into the real world, you’ll look back fondly on your time as an intern. Except for that whole working full-time thing.
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