I'm not a fan of goodbyes.
I don't like cheesy, long-winded declarations either.
That's why this final blog post is going to be a hard one to write.
The other night, I went on a little "date" with my ASME mentor after work. In between my endless questioning, she got in one of her own. "So have any of the other interns had an overwhelmingly good or bad experience compared to the others?" she asked. I tried to recall the rants and raves I had witnessed during the previous 10 weeks, pinpointing the most note-worthy in my mind.
"Uhhh..." I pushed out. "I guess we've all had our ups and downs." I followed up with a few brief descriptions of the ups, and even briefer hints of the downs. They didn't matter anyways—a few hiccups now and then are expected with anything new.
But the next day, I couldn't stop thinking about Lauren's question. Maybe it had more to do with the fact that the program was coming to an end, and just about everyone was asking me if I was going to stay in the magazine business. Plus, there was the list of questions I had for myself. Did I do the best I could? Should I have done more, stayed later? And what about the damn networking?
So I came back to the rants and raves of others to reflect on my own questions.
When I thought about each individual, each other friend at their respective magazine (including myself at mine), little of the experience had to do with the magazine itself. Sure, Jeff at People got to shake hands with shiny celebs and Andrea at Good Housekeeping got to walk through its institute's shiny hallways. But the time we had with the program mostly had everything to do with the attitude of each intern. Demanding boss? Work harder to show your dedication. Asked to get coffee? Well, it just might mean more face-time with the aforementioned boss. Not doing any writing? At least we can fact check in our sleep. So regarding the repeated question of whether or not we liked the experience—hell yes we did because not a single day passed without a lesson learned. And it's right to assume that we all love to learn.
It's quite strange to be wrapping up such a milestone of our college careers. Some of us have been working towards this since our freshman year. Some of us, even earlier (shout out to you, Jeff).
My theory: the greats go hard. They do things a bit differently. They jump and crash and push and fall and never sleep and always work and go crazy and learn.
I was surrounded by the greats this summer, interns included.
How damn lucky.
- Written by Natascha Yogachandra, New York University, Travel + Leisure Magazine