When I was a little kid, it was common for my dad to come home from a full day of work and immediately collectively banish me and all 4 of my little sisters to time out. As kids, we didn’t get it. Our sassy response to him yelling at us was always, “if you don’t like chaos you shouldn’t have fathered 5 girls over the course of 6 years.” I’ve got to say, after simultaneously balancing a full-time internship, a part-time freelancing career, and an on-campus job back at Pitt, I get it. If I had kids to come home to here, I would put them in time out too. Initially, I did not think that this balancing act was going to be as big of a challenge as it is. It hit me this past Wednesday though.
At 9:15 AM this past Thursday, I arrived to work a little bit late after being held up by a residence hall wide beg bug situation in my apartment building. My boss immediately called me into his office to discuss my internship experience so far. He asked me about what tasks I liked, and which ones I didn’t. I replied honestly, saying that I preferred creative work such as constructing flyers in photoshop over the copywriting and blogging I had frequently been doing. I don’t think this is what he wanted to hear, due to the fact that he ended the discussion with this:
“Creativity and design isn’t your strength. You’re 19– it’s too late to go into design. You could practice 8 hours a day every day for 10 years and still only be ok. Not great, but ok. Stick to copywriting. They make a decent living.”
Feeling defeated, I retreated to my desk and checked my email inbox. There were two unread emails. The first was from my on-campus supervisor, rightfully reprimanding my boss and me for somewhat neglecting our professional email. The second was from one of my freelance clients saying that he had a lot of comments about the article I had written for him, and he wanted to have a call later to discuss changes he’d like to make.
I usually work well in stressful situations, but this brief string of bad news took a toll on me. When I got home from work that day, I crawled right into bed. This past week, I have been focused on mending all of my professional relationships.
I think that the stress and responsibilities of college have caused me to slightly over-glorify what the real world is like. I really enjoy the idea of having a career, and the freedom to spend my days doing meaningful work in a field that I love. However, working from 9:00 AM to 12 AM most days (excluding transit, bathing, and dining time) has taken a bit of a toll on me this summer. I think I have a new perspective on the two years of undergraduate school I have left.
I’m learning a lot in Prague about myself professionally and personally, but I must say– I can’t wait to get back to the Burgh.