That Moment When You Find out the Grass Isn’t Always Greener

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Every morning, I wake up and stay nauseous. Before you say anything, nope I’m most definitely not pregnant, nor do I have some sort of crazy continuous flu. Instead, my constant nausea is a sign of my anxiety, thanks to my internship, classes, part time job and editor responsibilities.

I always thought having what I considered my dream job/internship would feel amazing, but instead it’s been the cause of so many more problems.

Let me backtrack a little. Last spring, I finished the year with not one but three rejections from various companies that I’d applied to. Without a summer internship, I ended up doing nothing but working practically full-time at my part-time job. I decided I’d use this time to relax and prepare for junior year. But that summer was actually one of the most stressful one I’d ever experienced.

I suffered through the summer with a constant toothache. Many dentist visits later, I found out it was caused by stress (doesn’t that sound ridiculous?). How could my seemingly relaxing summer stress me out more when I had no papers to write, classes to attend or professors to impress?

Simple—I worried that because I failed to find an internship, I’d end up at my part-time job forever. I began to secretly resent friends who were interning, convinced that no matter how much they complained about their jobs, their lives were much better than mine.

Several months later, I landed a writer position at College Magazine and the toothache disappeared practically overnight. As I eagerly opened my first assignment, I remembered thinking that no matter how difficult writing would be, it would feel nowhere as bad as stressing out over never attaining that all-important experience for my resume. Besides, writing was the only thing I loved to do, and this position meant my life would only get better.

Of course, as much as I love (still do) writing for CM, it still came with its own challenges, ones that stressed me out to the point where I ended up sobbing in the car while spastically eating curly fries. I kid you not—that pathetic situation actually happened. But I kept reminding myself that my life was perfect now, because I could do something I loved.

Earlier this year, I landed what sounded to me like the perfect internship. Currently I help promote upcoming movies, plan events for those movies and perhaps best of all, attend free advance screenings. Totally brag-worthy, am I right? With my new position as an editor and now this amazing internship, my life would be nothing but happy and exciting.

It seems like I also never learn from experience. I realized quickly that as much as I enjoyed my intern duties, they also stressed me out in a way I’d never thought possible. I can literally start feeling panicked for no reason, and I developed nausea that comes at the most inconvenient times, causing me to stop talking or moving unexpectedly. Talk about awkward. Oh yeah, and that lovely toothache recently came back too.

Moral of the story? I wish I could say I had a solution, but trying to relax isn’t as easy as it sounds when your mind can’t stop overthinking. Yeah, I love what I do, but it also causes problems that I need to learn to fix. I constantly worry about being late, not meeting deadlines or not coming up with interesting events or article ideas. I also still stress out over whether or not I should be doing a more prestigious internship with a company like Microsoft or Amazon.

So if you find yourself hating your more accomplished friends who have what they dubbed their dream jobs, stop it. Stop it right now. Jealousy looks good on nobody and chances are their stress levels have reached a ridiculous high.

As my favorite actor Lana Parrilla (from Once Upon a Time, which you should definitely check out) said, “You are where you need to be. Just take a deep breath.” In other words? Relax and keep in mind that things will work themselves out. Now, if only I could make myself listen…

Valerie is a senior at the University of Washington, studying English/Creative Writing and History. She loves anything caffeinated, Netflix and long road trips. She'll always be obsessed with Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Private Practice and Agents of Shield.

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