By Isabelle Perello |
I’m a quitter.
I have quit t-ball, gymnastics, musical theater, soccer, piano lessons, and recently, my first internship. While most of those things can be chalked up to my mom putting me through a million different clubs as a kid, my mindset is typically “when the going gets tough, I get going.”
This isn’t to say that I quit everything I find to be difficult. If that was the case, I’d be a college dropout with no chance of having the happy relationship that I’m currently in. But when it comes to prioritizing my personal happiness over a stressful situation that isn’t doing anything for me, I’m going to choose myself.
College is a time where people can explore a million extracurricular activities and clubs. However, it’s extremely common for freshmen to overexert themselves out of excitement and end up committing to several organizations, all while trying to balance a new school-life schedule as well. Take it from someone that tried to commit to AMSA, Baylor Quidditch, rock-climbing, and having a decent social life while starting out as a pre-med student; it won’t work out.
Unfortunately, the stress of trying to “do-it-all” can come with feelings of guilt when considering quitting at least one of the commitments. Fears of disappointment from peers, wasted time gone by, and future regret pile on. Many people would rather live in permanent stress than try to actually enjoy themselves and have a stable, balanced schedule.
The fear of quitting can translate into later years, as students are struggling to find jobs and internships. As a business major, it’s burned into our brains that we need internship experience and a lot of extracurriculars in order to become successful post-graduation. With this mindset, I was thrilled, but mostly just relieved, to be able to get an internship for the summer after my sophomore year.
With a shining optimistic attitude, I quickly made sure to buy a ton of cute business-professional clothes to celebrate my future job and my parents even got me a new business bag to match. I listed out things I would buy with my first big paycheck and I dreamed of city lunch dates I could have with fellow interns-turned-friends. Most of all, I was excited for the experience I would get as a marketing intern, prepared to bring that new knowledge with me as I entered the business school my junior year.
The company I was set to work for had different plans.
When going through training during the first week, I was completely taken aback when discovering what the job actually consisted of. Long hours of being on my feet, limited interaction with other people within the company, and lack of any marketing instructions other than a prepared sales pitch was not what I was led to believe my summer would be consisting of. The company had employed a “bait-and-switch” technique: a job offer that attracts students to a job with one set of responsibilities, but results in a job placement with the same title but completely different responsibilities.
Within two weeks of working for the company, I hated my job.
I didn’t feel like I was learning anything, the hours were long and stressful, and I definitely wasn’t making as much money as I thought I would. But the fear of quitting was strong, as I felt like this experience, however exhausting, was detrimental in order to have a glowing resume. It took a few more mental breakdowns and rationalization from my parents to finally prioritize myself over this job that I felt was the key to my future.
As it happens, I got a job a few weeks after quitting my internship that is helping me prepare for exactly what I want to do after I graduate. I would have never found out about it if I stayed in the stress-inducing internship, hoping it would eventually work out for me in the long run.
Quitting shouldn’t be the solution to every minor problem that you run into. But sometimes, you have to remember that it’s okay to quit. You never know what else might be out there waiting for you.