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When I was in elementary school I remember thinking that 23 was old; like, 23 was the age you had your life together and were an adult. Well, I can confidently say I don’t feel that way now. Now, it’s more like I hope I have my life together by 27, but I’m only 20, so let's see how I feel at 25. To me, it's crazy when my mom tells me that after high school she moved into an apartment in Los Angeles with her brother, and they both had separate rooms and just minimum wage jobs, and had time for social lives on top of that. That idea that one minimum wage job can get you your own room in a decent apartment in Los Angeles is now impossible. Nowadays, we go to college, still use our parents' money and loan money, our minimum wage or slightly better job then pays for our extracurriculars and fun, followed by moving back home after college. Not because we want to, but because it's too expensive to live without help. The other day I was having a conversation with my parents about how people are getting married so late and I just responded, “We can’t afford living on our own, how do you expect two people to afford getting married?” Not the wedding part, but the fact that you can’t have roommates anymore to split the rent, it's just the two of you and one room. What a daunting idea just financially. After working my first job at Jamba Juice for a year and a half, I remember thinking to myself, “This job motivates me to do more with my life, because I don’t want to do a minimum wage job like this again.” My first job was a walk in the park; I was friends with the majority of my coworkers, my boss trusted me, I was promoted so I was the boss most of the time, the pay was good and the hours were even better. It just got so mind numbing that I tried doing any more work I could do.
As a Junior in college I’ve heard more than ever, “*sigh* I just want my career already” or “I just want to be going in a direction already.” We’re all so impatient with the struggle because we still want to believe we can fund our life in the next 3 years. One half of my school is in Greek life and works as bartenders and want to get drunk all the time and everyone else is either working in something related to their field, in basic customer service, or unemployed. I thought that after having work experience, a promotion in the job, finding another job would be easy. HA! I walked into a small coffee shop and the manager wouldn’t even give me the time of day because I didn’t have waitressing experience… there were 10 tables and you could see them all in one room. For the school I go to, we are required to have three internships, paid, somewhat in our field by the time we graduate. When I was first looking for internships I noticed that many internships required prior experience… like, isn’t that the point of an internship, TO GET EXPERIENCE? Applying for internships I wanted felt like I was just getting all closed doors.
Applying to Internships that Require Prior Experience in the Field
It also sucks because everyone in my classes seem to be working somewhere that they are passionate about. I have to remember I just moved here in August and it takes time to establish your surroundings. I even had an interview with a dream of an internship; the girl liked me and I didn’t get it because they weren’t hiring anyone anymore. That one was hard to not be upset about. I was reminded what it first felt like when I was applying for jobs with no prior work experience; it’s disappointing and discouraging. I know my personality can sell who I am, but I never get the chance and my resume isn’t going to look more impressive until someone gives me a chance. I remember saying in my job interview for my first job, “How am I ever going to get work experience, if no one give me a chance?” and I still believe it. It's like all employers are just waiting for someone to take the chance first. I thought I would be doing some amazing internship in my field of interest, be going to events, making connections and making friends. Sometimes life has another plan. I’m unemployed, I stay at home a lot, watch TV, have one real friend outside of my roommates, and I’m not going in any direction professionally. And that’s okay. As hard as it is to not get upset that I feel alone, nonproductive, and like I’m not progressing the way I wish.
I know all with time, things will fall into place.