Dealing With Anxiety About Not Having a Summer Internship

It can be daunting to hear about career readiness and internships when you may not have been hearing back from opportunities you have applied to. Whether you are graduating or will be returning in the fall, it is easy to get caught up on the opportunities missed rather than looking forward to what you can do next.

There are many ways to make the most of your summer, even if it may not be going as planned.

    • EmbraceAllow yourself to feel the anxiety instead of suppressing it. Admitting that you have these feelings, and that they are valid, will help with digesting them and provide some clarity. It is normal to feel this way! You are not alone. Most importantly, do not let the lack of an internship define you or your career journey. Wonderful opportunities arise when you least expect it, keep trying. Also, keep in mind to find a balance; While job searches are important, so is enjoying your well-deserved summer break. Taking the time for yourself to enjoy your vacation will not only help to ease anxiety, but also bring you back with a clear head once you feel comfortable to jump into a job search.  
    • Apply There are many postings still open and being uploaded on Handshake, LinkedIn, and other job search sites (check our Starr Weekly Newsletter for more info). Continue to apply to ones you are interested in. It may not be for the summer, but you have something waiting for you once your break is over. Be open to a variety of experiences (research, volunteer work, etc.) as they can all help you with landing a future internship or job. Remember, Starr staff are available for resume/cover letter reviews and career advising if you need assistance polishing-up you application materials. 
    • ConnectNetworking is constantly stressed, the reason being that it can help immensely with unexpected opportunities. Connect (e.g., cold email – request informational interviews, LinkedIn – join groups, Handshake – see how to connect employers here) with professionals who are in fields you are looking to be in and clarify your position as a student. For example, you can contact a professor and see if they are looking for students to conduct research with or TA for a class. Though not exactly an internship, valuable experience can be garnered from these alternate options (learn more about the value of research experiences in preparing for the world of work). Also, consider joining a networking workshop to learn some strategies and practice your personal pitch.  

As college students, it is easy to succumb to the feeling that the world is moving at a fast pace while we stay stagnant. It is easy to view others as having their paths carved perfectly and having it all figured out while we do not. The reality is most of us feel the exact same way. Anxiety is inevitable, but the best we can do is try to not let it consume us. An internship/job does not define you or your capabilities, your time is coming! Congratulations on completing the semester. Be proud of your work and accomplishments thus far. Have a restful, fun, and safe summer vacation!

-Mashal Burney, Peer for Career

P.S. Starr is open after the semester ends and during the summer. Our staff is ready to help you! I encourage you to book an appointment or join an event. Connect with us in person or online to discover your next step!

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