During our childhoods, we are often asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and while many stick with their primary answers, others choose to explore the infinite possibilities that exist. Any time I was asked this question, I would quickly respond with “I want to be a dentist!” However, that all quickly changed when I was in middle school and I was exposed to various career options. Afterward, I often found myself thinking about what I truly wanted to do in the future. I always felt so pressured to have an answer to what my future career would be and I would get so frustrated with myself for not knowing what I wanted my future to look like. I ended up hating the question and would often avoid it. I then found myself searching for different internships based on the various interests I had. At the beginning of 2020, I was presented with many possibilities of how to spend the summer. I am a part of a program called the Opportunity Network which offered me the opportunity to study abroad in Prague and later on the College Success Program informed me of the HSS Rehabilitation Internship that would deal with my interest in Speech and Language Pathology. I was very excited about the options I had, but I often felt unsure if I even wanted to do any of those.
Towards the end of January, the College Success Program introduced me to another internship, which was with South Bronx United. I was told so many wonderful things about this program which sparked my interest in it. I liked the idea of working with children, which was something I already had experience with. I quickly confirmed with my mentor that this was something I wanted to do and an interview was scheduled for February. I was then very excited to hear that I was chosen to work with South Bronx United. However, in March all of our plans were altered due to the pandemic, and for me, personally, one of the things I felt uneasy about was what my summer was going to look like.
Entering a new internship remotely was definitely harder than I ever expected it to be. I was confused as to what working online would be like, and to be very honest even after I started working I felt as though I wasn’t doing anything correctly. However, SBU staff helped me adjust to working online and supported me in any way they could. I began feeling more confident with what I was doing once I started working with the summer electives. It was a very unique experience and it allowed me to work closely with students. I am glad I got to hear everyone’s ideas during the Activism Club. It was amazing hearing what students believed an ideal society looked like and I am excited to hear about the positive impact they will have on their communities. It was also exciting working in teams with those who participated in Think Smarter, Not Harder. It was pleasurable seeing how everyone worked together in order to complete the escape rooms before the other team. I also enjoyed being a part of the Journalism Club and learning about the different modes of journalism with the students who were present. But most importantly, I appreciate everyone who participated in Bronx History. I know it wasn’t easy joining an elective with two complete strangers on a Thursday afternoon when you all could have been doing something more entertaining. Students who participated in Bronx History were very patient with me and Ashley, and helped us learn more about what interests you all. I can confidently say that we started off as strangers and ended up creating a strong bond with one another. I am very grateful for this wonderful experience. Working with you all helped me confirm that I am interested in pursuing a career dealing with children and I hope that in the future I am able to work with students as amazing as you all were.
Students should always remember to trust the process. It is okay to feel frustrated and confused about the future. However, it is not okay to give up on your dreams. Work hard until you get to where you want to be. There are a million opportunities around you and I advise you to take them all. All of these events will help you build experience and will guide you to where you need to be. Always remember that SBU is your backbone and will support you with anything you need.
We are currently living in a world full of uncertainties. No one truly knows when things will go back to normal, or if they ever will. This pandemic has been very tough on everyone, but SBU has proven to make students their priority. They have provided students with various and diverse resources that can help the needs of students. I am very grateful for the opportunity I have been given to work with SBU. I learned so much about myself and what I want to do in the future. While working here I was able to confirm all the wonderful things that were said about SBU. I got the opportunity to work along with such an amazing organization that prioritizes the needs of their students. Interning at SBU has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I hope I was able to effectively help the program this summer. It was a pleasure getting to know you all.