By: Christine Feghali
I’m used to staying up until three and sleeping in until ten, wearing ripped jeans and concert tees almost every day, and driving five minutes to get to my university so I can go to class. I’m used to staying up all night to finish an assignment that’s due the next day and to having a syllabus that clearly outlines my professor’s expectations of me for the quarter.
Oh, how the times have changed.
Gone are the days of sleeping in. With my apartment being so close to school, I never had to worry about traffic. I would leave ten minutes before class, find parking, and walk into class a few minutes late. My professors were always late, too, and didn’t hold us accountable for being on time. Now, being late scares me like no other. The fear of being late is what helps me wake up at six so I can make it to the office by nine. Try driving west on the 210 at eight in the morning and you’ll see why I have to leave so early.
Gone are the days of haphazardly putting on whatever I can find to wear. Now I have to consciously think about how I’m going to dress. Is this appropriate for the office? Is it too low cut? Are polka dots too “loud”? What about tops without sleeves? What shoes should I wear? These things never really crossed my mind before. I used to live in Rainbows and Toms. I’ve upgraded to grown-up, professional shoes. It’s weird. If my mom weren’t a businesswoman, I’d probably be wearing the same outfit every day.
Gone are the days of procrastination…kind of. There isn’t time to procrastinate while you’re here. If you have something to do, you do it. You don’t waste time by surfing the Internet or by texting your friends. As a group, us interns have a relatively short amount of time to get a lot of work done. We all want to make a difference and we all think we know how much work that entails.
When I graduated less than a week ago, people repeatedly welcomed me into the “real world.” They warned me that things would get harder from that point on. It’s only my second day at the internship and I’m still not quite sure how everything works. I don’t know if I’m dressed appropriately or if I should’ve been here five minutes earlier. I don’t know what to expect at our first group meeting and I don’t know what my responsibilities are for the next ten weeks. Not knowing scares me.
Luckily, I’m surrounded by seven other people who are trying to figure everything out, too. We all come from different backgrounds; some of us recently graduated from college while others just graduated from high school. Each of us brings something different to the table and I look forward to overcoming the difficulties we’re bound to face together over the course of this program and embracing the changes that are still to come.