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Summer Internship Applications and Anxiety

Summer Internship Applications and Anxiety

If you are anything like me, the thought of a summer internship is an exciting opportunity to gain experience over the school break. You know it is the right step towards creating new connections and building skills in any industry. However, getting that first internship is quite the battle, especially if the process brings up a lot of anxiety. The Women's Network's mission is to encourage ambitious women, including those who may feel unsure about taking charge of opportunities that come their way. Here are some tips to be proactive and ease anxieties as you take the big step towards applying for summer internships. 

1. Recognize you are not alone, more people are affected by anxiety than you think. According to a poll done by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, one in three teen girls experienced new or worsening anxiety since March 2020. So many college students are struggling with mental health, and it is important to try to understand it. 

2. Reach out to those in your community. Feeling anxious about anything can often cause us to feel as though we are overreacting. Or even, at times, thinking irrationally. This feeling may cause you to keep everything bottled up, but it is so important to rely on those around you. During my (continuing) internship search, I have talked things over with my close friends and family. Even though it is a stressful time, most people have gone through something similar and can offer some great advice! 

3. Use your resources around you. Along that same vein, utilize your school’s career centers! From helping draft an email, looking over resumes, or finalizing your cover letters, the advisors know what they are doing. Some students do not always take advantage of the help. Relying on someone to outline the next steps may really ease your stress as you go through the process of searching for and finding summer internships. 

4. Find coping strategies that work for you. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there are a lot of ways to help manage your anxiety in your day-to-day life. Some of these tips include getting enough sleep, eating well, taking deep breaths, and more. Another strategy is known as the 3-3-3 rule. When you are feeling overwhelmed, name three things you can see, three things you can hear, and finally move three parts of your body. This can be enough of a distraction from your anxious thoughts to help calm you down at least for a moment. 

5. Try to accept that it is okay to not know all the answers. Between writing emails, trying to network, going in for interviews, a summer internship search is a long process. Some companies may not get back to you, or you may be anxious and wondering if you nailed that last interview. A lot of these experiences can lead to numerous what-if questions that might send you spiraling. There are a lot of nerve-racking moments as we go through this process. Just try to keep in mind that everyone starts somewhere, and all you can do is take a deep breath and inch your way forward.

6. Keep reminding yourself you are capable of doing more than you think. All of us in the Women’s Network joined the organization for a reason. We are successful, ambitious, intelligent, and kind. In your lifetime, you have been through stressful situations thousands of times. You got through it then, and you can most definitely get through it now. 

7. Never be the one to tell yourself no. At Syracuse’s last Women’s Network meeting, our president left us with a last piece of advice: “never be the one to tell yourself no.” A simple, but an effective mantra. The worst someone can say to you when applying is no, and you can deal with that outcome should it arise. Keep trying, and do not be the person holding yourself back. 

As we all continue to apply and search for internship opportunities, I hope you keep these things in mind. To all of you feeling anxious about this process, in the end, things will work out the way they are supposed to. Continue to push towards success, and remember to take some time for yourself along the way. 



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