There are a couple of great things this internship has done for me.
Firstly, the new connections I’ve made. There were interns from 14 different countries in my program. I’ve made friends from all over the world and learned about each of their cultures. Getting to know all these new people is extremely beneficial to my future in terms of expanding my network. More importantly though, the people I’ve met have helped me grow as a person.
Previously, I’ve always been reluctant to make new friends in fear of losing them. Don’t get me wrong, I still made new friends. However, the ones I made at this internship were different.
A lot of the fear of making friends comes from having to eventually separate from them. Whether it’s leaving high school to go to different colleges or switching classes from semester to semester, the anxiety of having to separate from people I enjoy being with is always lingering around. A part of me always felt empty whenever there was a change in schedules or when I couldn’t see my friends or family anymore.
My new friends at this internship were like a family to me. These friends were different in the way that they made me independent. I always ended up being too dependent on my friends to feel happy and content. These new friends made me independent. They taught me how to channel my thoughts into more positive light, but never failed to listen to what was on my mind. The worked on raising my self confidence. They were simple words like:
“You’re the most selfless person I’ve ever met.”
“Why did you quit playing basketball? You’re so good!”
“You’re so beautiful.”
As simple as these words were, I knew they meant it. They didn’t say it to make me feel good about myself, they said it because that’s what they felt.
I miss them, but I feel okay! Before, I would spend a lot of time feeling sad that I had to separate from my friends. The biggest difference this time is that I’m not sad. They’ve made me into someone that’s much more positive about life. I’m stronger now because of how much power I have over my own emotions. They are friends that truly shaped me into the best version of myself I’ve ever been, and I can’t thank them enough.