Unfortunately, in real life, we don’t just stop. Winning or losing doesn’t act as real conclusions to any situation. But they can feel very confiding once they happen.
Here’s how to navigate this journey’s final stop.
STAGE THREE: Cut off the dead weight
Coming out triumphant
You did good at your internship and even ended up with decent grades, and you can almost taste that exciting future you always dreamed of. Just like at the start line, you start to feel like you can conquer the world all over again, so should you aim for more? After all, doesn’t winning mean you are on the right track?
Ask yourself: are you growing or maintaining?
The key here is to figure out if this was a real win or if it wasn’t even a challenge, to begin with.
If it was all too easy and you came out on the other end with the same set of skills and self-knowledge. Then maybe you need to up the scale, aim higher. Reevaluate your capabilities and if you feel like you are ready to take on more work, then you should. But always dive in with your training wheels intact and build up from there.
And honestly, take a break for a while. Pay attention to the other things in your life that you have been putting on the back burner. Just because you are working towards something doesn’t mean you stop taking care of the things that got you there in the first place.
You flunk, you get kicked out, you quit halfway through, you lose some friends and maybe a bit of your driving purpose.
Failure comes in many forms, but they all sting precisely the same. Your instinct here would be to run but in the opposite direction. Don’t!
Instead, start with a break, take time to recover and understand your own emotions. I won’t preach that failure is a blessing. It is a learning experience. Stop and think why you failed and what it is trying to teach you. Write these reflections down, you are going to need them right in time for your next failure.
Ask yourself: are you challenged or stressed out?
Don’t romanticize your struggles, if you are busy all the time, stressed out and don’t see a reward every once and awhile. Then this is not a challenge, it’s a rigged game.
Picking an energy-consuming internship with a time-consuming university was a losing battle. You had to see for yourself. Which one proved to be of better value to you and your future plans? Which one will you drop? Or do you need to lose both and start fresh?
Endings are hard, they are usually about letting go. If it ended and didn’t add any value to your life, maybe you should drop it. If your university doesn’t help you reach your goals, you might consider a different major. If your internship didn’t add to your experience, you can try a different career path.
Internships are an avenue for self-discovery. Whether you succeed or fail, you would learn about what you value & find essential in your work environment. In this day and age, nobody is really stuck in one job. Trying different internships can act as an exploration route.
You’ve got at least 4 years and a total of 4 summers since you graduate from high school and with the average internship lasting from 3 to 6 months. How many avenues you think you can overtake during that time?