Summer jobs versus internships

Written By Shannon Hartnett, Co-Opinions Editor

This summer I had a great job at Sandcastle Waterpark. Summer has come and gone, and I am already thinking about next summer. Do I want to come back to this job, or should I shoot for getting an internship in 2020? I am honestly torn between the two options. I started making a pros and cons list in my head, but that eventually turned into nightmare scenarios.

When I start thinking about next summer, I feel anxious about it. All of these different dilemmas are popping up in my head. I really enjoy my job, and I am not complaining about the money either. I feel that as a nineteen year old college student, a source of income is important.

What if I get an internship that doesn’t pay? What if I stay at my job and never get any professional experience under my belt? What if I quit my job and then can’t find an internship at all? Or, what if I find one and my daily tasks only consist of making coffee and shredding paper? I would really be regretting quitting a perfectly good job for an outcome like that.

Images of these problems ran rampant around my brain, over and over. My head felt like a hamster wheel that was spinning so hard it was going to fall off the track and sky rocket out of my body. I did, however, finally start to calm down and look at this problem rationally. I want to start by explaining where I’m at now so the whole situation can be taken into account.

I have worked at Sandcastle for four years now. I got promoted a couple of times, and now I have quite a few responsibilities to deal with at work. There are a lot of people who would want my position, and I don’t want to take what I have for granted.

Most people would say that internships are the way to go, because even if ultimately the internship doesn’t meet the standards I hoped for, at least I get the professional experience and get to add it to my resume.

Still, I am not content with this answer. I feel like my job is just as good a resume booster as an internship could be, and I am getting the experience needed in management and communicating.

Although I haven’t started the process by any means in looking for an internship, I have heard great things about Point Park’s resources. Maybe I could get an internship, it would be great and everything would work out, but on the other hand, what if it doesn’t?

The more I thought about this and the more I wrestled with myself, I came to a couple conclusions. Unfortunately, deciding what to do next summer was not one of the solutions I stumbled upon.

However, I decided that first and foremost, I need to focus on what I am doing right now. That would be starting my second year at Point Park and the great opportunity I have of being the co-editor for the opinions section of The Globe.

My next conclusion is that I don’t need to have a definite answer for what I want to do nine months from now. Recently, the more I find myself planning and the more I find myself stressing about problems not in my control at the moment, the less excited I feel about the future.

If I am constantly worrying about my next move and only focusing on that next opportunity, I might miss out on some awesome opportunities right in front of me. I want to be excited for the future and what it holds for me. If my anxiety overtakes my thoughts about success, then I will only start to run from it, and that is something I have decided I can’t let happen.

Taking things day by day and slowing down were some strategies that worked for me. Another big one, that helped ease me the most, was talking about it. I talked to my parents, a couple close friends, and even had a conversation about it with my boss.

At the end of all the talking, I don’t have an answer, but I do have more confidence in the choices I will make in the future.