I remember taking an 8:30 a.m. microeconomics course last winter. I posted a photo of my last day and wrote, “Farewell morning econ class.” My dad commented on my Instagram photo and said, “Yes, and hello to leaving the house at 5 a.m.!” He, of course, was talking about my internship at Consumers Energy.
I chose to live at home this summer and commute with my dad. We live about 1hr 15m from Jackson, which is where the headquarters of Consumers is located. It was extremely difficult waking up at 5 a.m. to leave at 5:30 and get there around 6:40! It was also difficult doing that on top of a spring online class when you leave work at 5:30 p.m.! That’s 12 hours between leaving home and leaving work! This may make it seem like I hated my internship, but in reality, I didn’t. And now, I realize that I took a lot for granted.
Today was my last day of work. It was the strangest day because I had realized so much about my goals and myself all at once. I also understood that it would be my last day with such incredible people, which really hit home with my last goodbye.
Here are some things I want to share about my summer experience:
- Never take the little things for granted. Almost every time my dad drove us into work, I would bring a blanket, my Build a Bear, and a sleeping mask for my eyes. We would look at each other and simultaneously say, “See you in an hour!” It was funny at the time, but now looking back, I regret not taking that time to talk with my dad. The conversation would have been interesting at 5:30 a.m. I’m sure, but who cares? I wish I would have stayed awake and would have been able to spend more quality time with my dad (aka: Jay Swag).
- People really are kind deep down. There were several times that I felt the world was out to get me. I felt like I was an alien on another planet trying to fit in and find my niche, but whenever I took one step forward, I ended up taking two steps back. I had to remember that this is a normal feeling, and things will eventually fall into place. Some people are just having bad days and need an extra push. I found that no one I worked with or for was “out to get me,” but rather they were wanting to help me succeed and wanted to see me grow.
- Friendships will blossom. If you told me three months ago that I would make the best of friends at Consumers Energy, I would have thought you were crazy! But as it turns out, you would have been accurate. The interns I worked with are some of the most incredibly talented, kind-hearted, and hilarious people I will ever meet. I know some people say, “Let’s keep in touch,” and never do anything to act on it, but this is different. These individuals will be in my life forever, and I cried the tears today to prove it! I also had a great connection with my boss and I know I will always be in touch with her. That relationship is another that I will always cherish and hold dear to my heart.
- Self-confidence will finally emerge. I was never the most confident child, and am still working on that aspect of my personality today. It is difficult for me to pretend that all is well when I feel like I’m drowning. I don’t know exactly when the switch went off, but now I feel more alive and more able than ever before. I feel like I can take a compliment, and even constructive feedback. I received a lot of encouragement and praise from my boss, interns, and coworkers, which apparently radiated confidence toward me. Others started to see me grow and thrive in a setting I was once terrified of. I am very glad that others believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself; this is a feeling I wish everyone could experience.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. I think that it is in our nature to be scared of change. And although it is okay and considered acceptable, it is not something we can just avoid. People at work started talking about a club called Toastmasters, and I thought it was going to be dorky and pointless; however, it was the complete opposite. I met the most incredible people from this club and I would have regretted not taking part in it. I will never assume something of a group or new thing; instead, I will give it my all and have faith in my abilities.
In a nutshell, that sums up what I have learned. I want to expand on some of these thoughts later on, but they are so fresh in my mind and I believe in rawness and realness before analysis. Until next time…