Summer just is not what it used to be. The relaxing days at the beach are, for many of us, traded in for khakis and a water cooler. Though we are still weeks away from temperatures above 70 degrees, the scramble for a summer job, internship or activity is underway in full force.
Students are looking high and low for that office gig that will help them get another internship that could, maybe, let them connect with someone who might know someone who might interview them one day. Maybe.
The annual job/internship hunt is always something of a stampede. As Bowdoin students, we feel the need to constantly achieve—master the piano, bowl a 300, and be the best at, well, everything.
But it need not be such a high-speed race. Countless parents and alumni come back to Bowdoin to give career advice, and for nearly all it was not a straight path to their current profession. Many changed their mind about what they sought, and others still spent their summers working at sports camps or landscaping.
If your plan for the future includes few or no actual commitments, make the most of your relative freedom and take a few risks.
Not everyone can afford to backpack through Central America, and not everyone wants to. No one says that painting houses for a summer or taking a job in a bakery is any worse than trading collateralized debt obligations. That being said, if you do have secured summer plan that is on the formal side, congratulations and best of luck. Either way, what you do this summer can be meaningful.
Most important, students should try to approach finding summer opportunities as calmly as possible. It is all too easy to hit the panic button in these final weeks before classes end, an added—and really, unneeded—stress on our lives. Realize this: things not working out immediately does not mean they will not work out at all. Bowdoin is preparing us for life beyond its gates, and in some ways we must trust in that system.
We should take advantage of our youth while we can, and part of that means trying new things and putting ourselves in less-than-ideal—and sometimes uncomfortable—situations. Revel in the uncertainty and insecurity of not knowing what path your life will take in the next few months or years.
The editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which comprises Nick Daniels, Piper Grosswendt, Linda Kinstler and Seth Walder.