I have a week before my Spring break starts and I am counting down the days. But what is more incredible is that, as of this moment, I am three quarters of the way done with my freshman year of college!

I can easily imagine Ferris Bueller leaning on the wall closest to me as he says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Since I have started college, I have attempted to absorb everything around me. The concerts, the serene walks to class, the greenness of Marston quad, the food, the discussions after documentary showings, the debates, the in-class essays, the way my history professor speaks quickly and precisely, the phone calls from home, the somewhat-having-a-crush-but-maybe-not-too-much feelings, the presentations, the jokes– I tire myself as I attempt to remember all the endless little moments that have accumulated to be my time at Pomona so far. It all surmounts to be this awkward yet attractive fraction: 3/4.

Yet, there exists a frightening outcome at this checkpoint. Veiled with the joyous notion about the nearness of break, this time period is also blooming season for the aspiring, entry level professionals. As internship applications increasingly become available online, I realize that I must make a greater effort to communicate with my professors and my advisers. As of now, I have searched for a couple internship opportunities that I feel would make for an interesting and rewarding summer experience.

However, I believe that I began my search too late, in many ways.

My advice for anyone applying for internships for the summer after their freshman year would first yield that your search should start during your winter break. I feel that I would be less stressed to complete applications if I had structured my schedule around early deadlines.

Another aspect about the application process that I did not expect to be as difficult as I feel it to be regards recommendation requirements. I have a natural fear of speaking to faculty members. I have not fully understood this fear myself but I have come to accept it as an internal habit of mine. At the beginning of the year and throughout my first semester, I struggled with speaking to my professors outside of the classroom. Unless I genuinely needed an answer to a question pertaining to the curriculum, I was absent from office hours. I know that I could have changed my experience if I had mustered up the courage to introduce myself more personally to my professors, especially the ones who seemed to really value my ideas on paper. So it is without question why choosing someone to write a recommendation comes a little less easily than the rest of my application now.  I would stress the importance of developing close relationships with your teachers, not for the sake of obtaining any end goal, but for the sake of knowing a faculty member as an individual with valuable insights who could equally attest to your valuable insights.

Until next time, I accept the challenge of opening myself up in and out of the classroom!