Happy Valley Goose Bay #4

It is now my fourth week in Happy Valley Goose Bay and I am happy to say that things are starting to look up.  Last week, my frustration with a lack of defined project definitely peaked but I have since managed to find meaningful work to do.  The organization that I am interning for is developing the project with an outside group, and while they are still not quite finished on their end, the outside group is.  Towards the end of last week, I got in contact with them and received project related work to do.  Right now I am currently reading through graduate theses and dissertations and extracting key points.  I find this interesting not just because I am gaining meaningful research experience but also because I am considering going to graduate school myself.  Reading various graduate writings from a variety of disciplines (biology, philosophy, public policy, etc.) has been quite the experience.

Now time for some tangentially related musings:
I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on college students to have “the perfect internship”.  It’s important that we develop skills, gain connections, and do meaningful work.  That was a contributor to my previous frustrations when I felt like I was accomplishing none of those things.  And honestly, I know the whole “don’t compare yourself to others” shtick (wayyyyy easier said than done), but seeing others cure cancer or eradicate poverty only exacerbated those frustrations.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve learned that it’s okay if things don’t go perfectly as planned.  In fact, I find that rarely ever does that happen.  Furthermore, it’s okay to let others know that things aren’t going perfectly.  My whole life, I’ve generally avoided asking people for help (I have been to office hours three times in my two years thus far at Michigan) and tried to figure things out on my own.  I’ve been more open, frank, and honest during my internship (on the blog, and in person) and I’ve found that often times it’s a better option.  There was definitely a time (probably a few weeks ago) where I would have bottled everything up and BSed how my internship was going.

After my blog post last week where I openly expressed my frustrations, I was almost immediately contacted by Hub staff asking if I was okay and offering advice to help remedy the situation.  They have continuously checked up on me and aided me in solving the issue.  I have also told the other interns about my situation and every day, almost without fail, one of them asks me if I’ve found work to do.  That’s real, and I’m greatly appreciative of having people in my life who care about how I am doing.

Yeesh, this is kind of dragging on…  What exactly is my point here…  I guess I’m trying to say that if your internship is exactly what you dreamed of, that’s awesome.  If it isn’t, don’t sweat it either.  You learn a lot about yourself and the world around you when things aren’t necessarily going well.

Unrelated, but I started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  Funniest thing I’ve watched in a long time.

Here is a picture of the view from outside the gym and a picture of the Tim Horton’s drive thru line at 9:30 at night.

Annddddd my phone isn’t sending them to my email for some reason.  Maybe next time.


2 thoughts on “Happy Valley Goose Bay #4

  • May 23, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Justin,

    Glad to read things are looking up and that you are learning that it is okay to be “deliberately uncomfortable”! It can be a challenge to ask for help, be frank and/or be more honest but often times, if done correctly, the results are better than bottling things in. I look forward to reading more about your research!

    All the best–Folake

  • May 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Hi, Justin–

    I’m so glad to hear that things are getting better for you! It must have been a frustrating experience to arrive to your internship only to not have things ready to go, but it sounds like you’ve turned that into a learning experience. As you are discovering, things don’t always go as planned in life, and avoiding comparisons to others and driving from your own heart is incredibly important to ensuring that you have a fulfilling life! One recommendation that I have is to continue to keep the lines of communication open with your supervisor. You may hit roadblocks as you continue onwards with your work, and having the ability to discuss, rather than bottle up, problems will ensure that you keep making good progress during your internship.

    I’m very excited to continue following your journey this summer!




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