The summer went by in a flash. I worked for Vivian five days a week, 9am to 5pm. I found that I didn't mind working in an office at all, though I also discovered that a lot of the work we did was relatively boring and mindless (especially compared to my academically challenging school work). But I loved my coworker, Savannah,* and as the only two people working in the office, I got to know her fairly well very quickly. We were a dynamic team. Example A: Vivian gives a lot of talks around the city (she calls them "training programs"), and we would bang out PowerPoint presentation after PowerPoint presentation like a well-oiled machine. We had a system: I did all the writing/editing, and Savannah did all the formatting/detail work. Together we were the whole package, and we had that office running like a hamster on a wheel.
Vivian herself only came in to the city three days a week. On the days that she was in the office, we would work non-stop on various projects. The phone would be ringing off the hook and people would be coming in throughout the day for interviews and meetings.
But on the days she didn't come in, the phone was usually dead silent. Savannah and I would work for a couple of hours and then chill out for many more. We would talk, go on facebook, check our personal emails. Somedays I would even bring a book -- it was that awesome.
I found myself thinking often that, if this was the real world, I could definitely handle it. I might even like it better than college.
And so the summer ended much too quickly. On my last day of work, Vivian called me into her office and thanked me for all the work I had done over the past few months. Then she, quite unexpectedly, gave me a check for $500. Given that I had signed on as an unpaid intern, I was ecstatic. I knew this meant she thought I had exceeded expectations.
At the end of our conversation, I told her that my school has a *thing* called JanPlan, a month outside of the semester system in which you take only one course, or do an internship, or go abroad for four weeks. I asked her if she would be willing to take me back, if I could come work for her again. She agreed immediately, telling me she'd love to have me intern again. I was thrilled, and somewhat relieved. I knew then that I had passed the first challenge on the path to getting a job and a career.
When I left for my senior year of college, I felt as though my future was more secure than it had ever been. I felt almost... maybe... ready to become an adult.
*Let's just get this out of the way, all the names in this story have been changed.