The end of my internship is coming closer and as it does I begin to think about what I wished I knew beforehand. I wish I could’ve told my former self to not place such high expectation for this internship. I believe that was the most grievous mistake I made concerning this internship because as soon as the internship failed to meet these expectations I instantly began to ridicule it. I would’ve reminded him that this was really only another step on a thousand mile journey.
I would tell anybody who wants to participate in a research internship for developmental psychology that they should keep in mind that considerable amount of time is going to be spent doing monotonous tasks – it’s simply an unavoidable part of any research experience. There are going to be days when you are convinced that you made a mistake doing the internship full-time, but you just have to remember the light at the end of the tunnel. If you think of the dull tasks as part of a bigger picture, one that has true meaning and will contribute to the world around you, then you won’t mind doing them as much. Also, you do learn things about research that you would have never learned had you not had the experience. I would prime them to try to notice the subtle things they picked up on during their experience because usually they will swept under the rug if they are not deliberately searched for. If this isn’t enough then at the very least you will discover that this isn’t the path for you and you won’t have to pour any more energy into when you’re done. All in all, remember that your experience is more subjective than it is objective. What matter most is how you want to interpret your experience.