Student Summers: Relax, Intern or Both?

Freshman Alicia Gill hope to find a balance between work and play this summer while on the hunt for an internship.

Even though it feels like spring has barely begun, many students have already turned their thoughts towards summer, and the stress of finding a summer jobs and internships.

It is safe to say that before college, summers were actually relaxing. Now, when asked what plans they have for the summer, most students will answer that they are hoping to snag an internship someplace, usually settling for one that is unpaid. Being at a school full of ambitious workaholics in a city known for its opportunities can put pressure on some students to find ways of keeping productive over the summer.

Tisch freshman Alicia Gill says she feels the pressure to find an internship all the way from her hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

“I have friends that are in high school and they have film internships,” Gill said. “I’m going to a real film school, so I should probably find one when I go home.”

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Stern freshman Vivian Xu said she is definitely feeling the pressure to find a job, yet understands that people should do what is best for them, even if that means going through the summer unemployed.

“A lot of my friends have jobs,” Xu said. “I’m in Stern, also, so pressure is very evident. But I think that everyone goes at their own pace. I’d rather choose something that’s more productive for me.”

Also hoping to go home over the summer, Gill describes her perfect summer as having a balance between work and play.

“Ideally it would probably be a really cool, lax internship that is only a couple times a week so I can hang out with my friends and family,” Gill said. “Go for hikes and camping, all that stereotypical Canadian stuff, like bonfires and maple syrup.”

For some, internships do not take away from vacation time, but rather provide a balance between work and play. For instance, Gallatin sophomore Nathalia Sanchez will be working for the first half of the summer as part of a research team in New York that assesses children’s receptive and expressive language.

For the second half of the summer, Sanchez plans to relax and travel.

“Since [the internship] is just May and June, I have the opportunity to make up [for lost time] in August and travel,” Sanchez said.

Many applications for summer internships are still open for those seeking a job. However, there is no shame in granting yourself an entire summer dedicated to well-earned R&R.

A version of this story appeared in the Monday, April 4 print edition. Email Medardo Perez at [email protected] 

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