Words of the Week: Happiness

Over the past semester and especially over this break, I have been thinking a lot about the “self-inventory” I must do on myself in order to assess what I want to be doing and where I most want to be for the rest of my life.

My professors last semester consistently talked about finding what makes you happy – what town to live in, what people to surround yourself with, what job to go to every day – and made it clear that unless you find those things, you will not reach your full happiness potential.

At first, I was so unsure of what would make me happiest. It seemed so overwhelming to be thinking about all those things right then and there. I had and have no idea where I want to live the rest of my life or what exact job I want to go to every day. I am definitely a planner, but having to choose all those things with my future happiness impending seemed so, well, scary – much like many other aspects of senior year.

But also like being a college senior, so many aspects of making these decisions are also exciting. I think this is particularly exciting to me because I love the idea that I get to choose what I will be doing and where I will be. I, above anyone else, have the power to make myself happy.

Understanding the fact that I have that ability is probably the most important step towards that happiness for me. For so long, I felt so wrapped up in the need to make everyone else happy that I forgot my personal happiness was the most important thing of all. Once I worked towards pleasing myself instead of solely others, everything else seemed to fall into place.

I thought that this Audrey Hepburn quote was a great way to sum up how I feel in making these choices or even thinking about them:

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The more I think about the decisions that I will eventually have to make for myself, the more I realize that there are so many different paths I could take that would all make me happy. When I think about that, though, it also makes me realize that no matter what choices I make, I will always ensure that I am filled with joy and always enjoying the ride of life.

Be a Stand Out Intern

This break, I have been doing an internship that I actually really love. I don’t find myself waiting for the time to pass and dying to leave.

Instead, I am always so busy and love the projects I’m working on as well as the people I’m working with. Everyone is so helpful, welcoming, and very, very smart.

As we all know, internships are a very important part of college and are instrumental in getting a job once college is over.

On top of that, they are a great learning experience. If you’re anything like me and love to work, you probably think they are so much fun. I love learning how to do new tasks and I also find it super interesting to observe and become a part of new work environments.

I have had an array of very different internships, and luckily each of them has been a pleasurable and unique learning experience.

One of the most important things to do at an internship is make lasting connections and stand out. Here are the best ways I’ve found to do just that:

1.       Find out how you can help – the reason you are even at an internship is to help the company get things done, grow, and be successful. Make sure that each day, you actively find out how you can help everyone else that works there. They will appreciate the assistance, you will get to do a bunch of tasks, and you will be a part of helping the company move forward, which is actually really cool when you think about it.

2.       Show that you want to be a part of the team – many interns seem to have the mentality that they are separate from the rest of the office because they are not an official employee. This is the totally wrong way to think! Instead, show that you want to be a part of the team. Make conversation with colleagues, go to lunch with the other workers instead of eating at your desk, and participate in the little things they do. Immerse yourself completely in the office culture. This is the best way to make connections within your internship and it is also a great learning experience for you, because it will help you figure out what kind of office culture you ultimately want to be a part of.

3.       Be proactive – show your bosses that you really want to be there by taking initiative and being proactive during your time at the office, no matter how long or short. Share your ideas and make frequent suggestions to show that you care about the work you’re doing and that to you, it’s not just busy work. This not only shows effort but conveys the fact that you understand the work that they do in the office and that you are proficient enough in it to make add your own spin to it.

4.       Ask questions – asking questions is a great indication to those that you’re working with that you’re genuinely interested in what you’re doing and in what their company is all about. Ask poignant and well thought out questions that will really wow them about the company, as well as questions about them – regarding their experiences working there and even ask for advice as a student and soon to be worker.

5.       Be polite – being nice and polite is almost always appreciated and makes life a heck of a lot easier, in my opinion. Be sure to thank your employers for the opportunity that you are taking advantage of regularly. Never make a mess and be respectful of office space and equipment. Always be on time and don’t complain. Follow up with office employees and be sure to send thank you cards and keep in touch even after you leave to maintain the connection.

Whether it is a good or bad experience, every internship is a great chance to learn and form relationships that could be useful in the years to come. Soak in every second of the experience and appreciate the opportunities you are given, as you never know just how much they will teach you.

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