Internships are scary!

Scratch that. I’ve had amazing experiences with internships, it’s just that the real world is scary! And internships are just a reminder of post-college life.

I, a girl who sleeps with a nightlight, am certainly not ready to be responsible for taxes and commuting and all that jazz.

Except… maybe I am?

After a poorly timed quarter-life crisis (is there ever a good time to question your existence and the meaning of it?), I did some soul searching. I’ve always been someone with so many interests—and, luckily, who has been pretty good and successful at these interests. I was having a hard time venn diagram-ing what I liked + what I was good at + what I actually wanted to do for a living.

First, it was screenwriting. Then it was advertising. For a moment, it was production design. Then, in a fit of artistic rebellion that hasn’t quite ended, art school and a graphic design career. Then marketing. Then briefly graphic design again, though maybe in an advertising setting.

I think I’ve found the answer though (God help me, for now): wedding and event planning.

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I’m such a visual and creative person, and I don’t want to work a 9-5 desk job. I want to flex my creative and design muscles, and exercise my knowledge of marketing, without damaging my eyes from staring at a computer screen. I want to have a job that I love and that makes me want to work long hours—not because of office culture or the stress of the industry. I want a job where I can be completely, unequivocally, me.

It took a huge leap of faith for me to shed my pre-conceived notions of what I was supposed to be doing. I mean, Hopkins gives you a ton of exposure and connections, but I can’t speak to how many of my peers have said, “Oh, my aunt works in wedding planning! I’ll put you two in touch.”

I drafted a brand new cover letter, converted my portfolio into a design and event portfolio, and updated my resume. Then I just started emailing.

After a few back-and-forths with different companies and a couple of meetings, I figured it out.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.16.12 PMThe internship that I have this summer, as a summer associate with Karson Butler Events in DC, feels like a friendly and warm harbinger of post-college life. I also secured a generous grant with Hopkins’ Second Decade Society. A lot of my anxieties—professional, financial, or existential—have been assuaged.

I’m working my first wedding on May 7th, and I travelled down to Alexandria, Virginia the other week to attend a walkthrough of the venue and meet the bride and catering team. The bride is wonderful, the property is absolutely beautiful, and my supervisor gave me an amazing lay of the land. I’m so excited to help with day-of operations, from the arrangement of the donut cake to the directing of the shuttles to logistics at dinnertime.

If that walkthrough was any foreshadow of how this summer is going to be, it’s going to be amazing. And not at all scary (except for Union Station—those tour buses drive without mercy).

As someone who has been totally not freaking out about her impending graduation, I feel a sense of peace. With my quarter-life crisis behind me, a sense of assurance about my career goals, and a dream internship, I’m ready to rock my last summer as a student and intern.