Patience is the key to everything you want in life! No, that’s not necessarily true. Patience is super important. Yeah, but not entirely the point. Rome wasn’t built in a day, in fact it was built with patience and marble. Still not what I’m looking for.
Okay, I’m terribly impatient, but I never knew how important it was to be patient, until I applied for six internships for the summer, and ended up only getting one.So, let’s go back. I applied to two internships in March for the summer and did not get either of them. I heard back within a day for each one, and was disappointed, but I was happy that I had the opportunity to keep looking for an internship.
I applied to four more when the summer started and waited a day—nothing.
Then I waited a few days—still nothing.
A week went by and I was ready to throw my laptop out the window because, that’s right, I still didn’t hear back.
Then I got one interview, but for an internship I wasn’t really excited about. I got offered the internship, but didn’t accept right away because I wanted to see what was still out there. You should never take the first thing you’re offered; it’s always better to know all your options before making a final decision (I learned that while watching Shark Tank, fun fact).
I started to doubt myself. Maybe I wasn’t good enough for this magazine, maybe I applied too late, maybe someone else got who is smarter and a better writer than I am (not funnier though, I still have that). I started to believe that no one wanted me to work with them.
I found out, however, from a cousin of mine that waiting to hear back for an internship or job often takes two, sometimes even three weeks. I was devastated. My patience was running out and I didn’t know what to do. My cousin told me when two full weeks have passed without hearing back from a possible employer, a follow-up email is a good reminder to the employer that you’re still interested. After two weeks, I sent three follow-up emails to my last opportunities for internships.
I never heard back from two of the places I applied to, but I did hear back from one. We quickly set up an interview and I now have my internship!
When we live in a society that’s so dependent on having everything done in an expedited manner—our TV shows have to be online so we don’t have to wait a week to see the next episode, our Internet has to run fast, we must have our groceries checked out quickly, our phone calls must be short to move on to the next one, traffic is our worst nightmare—it’s extremely unreasonable to tell someone to be patient. However, one must try. If I would have just given up and not followed up on any of my emails, I wouldn’t have an internship.
Patience is indeed a virtue and one that gets overlooked because of its associations with a condescending tone and not getting what you want. If you really want a job or an internship, though, you must learn to be patient. You’ll rarely know if you get a position within a day or a week’s time, so before you give up, just remember: take a deep breath, watch some YouTube videos, stay optimistic, and be patient.