Further Musings on Career/Education/Being Abroad

My stress levels are maxed out once again. I’m not even sure what the real problem is right now. School is relatively easy. I’m not falling behind on my work and the work that I’m doing isn’t too challenging to me. I have friends and I’m so in love so in terms of relationships I’m doing well. I speak to my family almost every single day. I eat right. I cook (sometimes). I go grocery shopping. I started going to the gym. But somehow I’m just feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Things are going too nicely and I’m starting to worry about the future instead.

I want to get a summer internship/job organised for next year already, just because I know it’s so important to secure one early on. I’m currently a little bit too early for most regular companies (but not big established programmes like PVH) so everything I’m looking at is purely speculative. I know what kind of internships I’d like to look for and hopefully partake in, but that all comes down to someone liking me and wanting to hire me. Furthermore, everything is slightly more complicated due to the fact that I’m on a student visa and I want to do everything by the books because I’m not looking to get deported!

Next summer, ideally, I would get a full-time paid internship but I understand that that scenario is rather unlikely. I’ve come to the realisation that you’re only going to get on one of those programmes if you have prior internship experience and whilst I have done short-term, more “volunteer” positions, I am yet to hold an internship where you go into the same company and work a couple of days a week for three months or so. Legally I’m not allowed to do that yet. I’ve heard of people (foreign students) doing this when it is against visa regulations and not getting caught, but then I would never want to risk it. Honestly it isn’t worth getting sent home over.

I don’t think I thought about the realities of not being allowed to work before I came over here. I just got caught up in the idea of New York and all of the opportunities that the city could afford me eventually that I didn’t take the time to think about what things would be like before I got to that point. I know that in a couple of years everything will make sense and it will all have been worthwhile but right now it is a bit of a struggle. I would be so much better off if I could just work part time retail. An extra $300 a month would make all the difference. But I knew this before I came here. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But it has been slightly more difficult than I thought it would be.

Regardless of all of the struggles, I’m in New York. Honestly there is no place that I’d rather be. I want to live here for at least another five years, ideally. However, I am open to moving to other places after college too. I used to have this fixed life plan and it was very rigid. Everything had a timeframe that I wanted it completed in. Now I’m just living life. I feel very fortunate to know that I have time on my hands. I don’t feel like I need to rush and get everything done by the time I’m 30 anymore because I know I’m probably going to be working until I’m 70. I’m not worried about rapidly rising up the corporate ladder. Yes, I’m still fiercely ambitious but my priorities are beginning to shift, especially because I can see myself following a more creative career path and pursuing something where there is no fixed route to success. Wait and see what I do. I’m hoping it will be something magical.

Eve Gardiner is the founder and content creator behind evegardiner.com

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