PAIGE LISTON | OPINION COLUMNIST
With summer fast approaching, I thought I would feel a sense of relief or freedom.
I thought I would be free from having to wake up early to go to class every day.
I thought I would be free from having to study for exams every week, free from the stressful feeling of knowing I have a lot of work that I should be doing.
I thought I would feel this way because that is certainly how I felt last summer. My biggest worry was if the frozen yogurt shop I worked for would still be willing to let me work twice a week and give me weekends off.
Unfortunately, with taking a summer class and having an internship, that will not be the case for me this summer.
I find it interesting that the idea of summer changes as you get older.
Just last year I saw summer as a time to relax and make a little money. Now, I see it as a time to get things done and put extra work in.
Gary Beaulieu, the director of the Internship and Career Services office, said that not doing something to further your career in the summer looks bad to future employers.
“Getting an internship or a job related to your career field of choice shows that you have been active in doing something that helps you to prepare for the future,” Beaulieu said. “By doing so you are preparing for what will happen to you after college.”
I knew this summer would, and should be, different for me.
If I did not get an internship, I would have felt incredibly behind and unprepared for my future. I realize that feeling this way is slightly dramatic, because I am only a 19-year-old sophomore in college, but it seems as though people are always starting earlier when it comes to preparing for their futures.
Beaulieu said there is usually a significant difference between a freshman in college’s expectations for summer and a rising senior’s expectations, but because of the pressures of getting ahead in the working world, students are obtaining career-related experience earlier on.
“With younger students you usually see them getting summer jobs, but what we have been seeing is that students are getting internships earlier and earlier,” Beaulieu said. “But, mainly, it is critical for juniors and seniors to get that career related experience in. And summer is a great time to do that.”
Caroline Stark, a rising senior, said she definitely feels the pressures to have a job for the summer.
“This summer I am staying on campus to take classes, and although I don’t have a job yet, I do feel a lot of pressure to get one to pay for my schooling and living expenses that are all going toward furthering my future,” Stark said. “So my last summer as a student won’t be spent at home, unfortunately.”
Lauren Reineke, a current freshman student, also feels pressure to get a job for the summer, but not because of the need to obtain career experience.
“When I was planning out my summer I knew I needed to get a job to make a little extra money on the side to help pay for school, and so that I wouldn’t have to ask my parents for money over the break,” Reineke said.
When I looked over my schedule for this summer I thought I was losing it to the pressures of growing up and getting older. In a sense I am, but in reality I, and all upperclassmen like me, are preparing for the all too real future that lies before us after we graduate college.
To me, it seems like that day will never come, but each year goes by quicker and quicker and each summer holds the opportunity to get a small sense of what the real world will be like one day.