7 Internship expectations I was wrong about

Personal story / Monday, March 30th, 2015

The question a lot of people open with when asking how my internship is going is, “Do you know everyone’s coffee orders yet?” And the answer is no, because I’m not running out and getting coffee. I’ve seen two coffee machines and an espresso machine in the office and everyone pretty much just helps themselves. I’ve been asked a couple times if someone could get coffee for me. Not what you’d expect, right?

I’ve had a few of my expectations shattered, as well. And not all of them are bad:

  1. That office I dug out would be mine. It was mentioned once or twice that I would be there. In reality, now that I have a computer to use, I’m in the bull pen. It’s made up of three tiny, windowless offices in a straight line. Only one of them opens into the hallway, and they’re all connected. At the far end is a lady I haven’t met yet, then me, then the other new girl.
  2. Not working in the office I thought I had would be sad. Really, I like my little cubby better. Granted, I have no window or daylight. But it’s cozy and I feel less pressured. It’s better to start out small in this case.
  3. I would spend my whole first month filing magazines. While this isn’t entirely false, it’s no longer my top priority. Since I have a computer, I get to sit at my desk, respond to emails, and edit and rewrite things. Once I get through those things, I go back to filing/organizing magazines. The moment anyone mentions needing me to edit things, I’m back at my desk.
  4. Getting up at 6:30 every morning would get old. Fast. Surprisingly, I like this part. It’s a good routine and I actually get ready faster before the sun’s up than I do when it’s late morning.
  5. Dressing professionally all the time would feel weird. Now, I like to dress nice. Even casual nice. I also liked being able to show up to a District meeting in workout clothes (either because I’d been working out, would work out after the meeting, or I really needed to do laundry). But as much as I like to look good and like a grownup, I also feel really out of place in the cafeteria with my grilled cheese and chocolate milk when I look like I should have a fancy menu in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
  6. I would have no social life and barely any time for homework. Thanks to me scheduling “mandatory fun” throughout the week to avoid developing ulcers and other stress-related problems, I’m still respectably social. And since a number of my friends have volunteered to help me practice my Spanish, I’m even getting studying done at the same time.
  7. Spring allergies would make me the most unwanted person at the office. I’m among the few who have yet to have a problem with my allergies this spring. And unlike most places I’ve worked, people actually take the day off when they’re sick. Maybe it’s because these people earn way better than minimum wage so they can afford missing a day. I work all the time, healthy or sick, but it’s a relief to know that missing one day at this job will not be as critical as missing class.

We’ll see if these hold true throughout the quarter, but I have a feeling things will only get better.

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