My Summer Internship in a Postcard
written in August 2014
I did my summer internship in a postcard. That’s how beautiful it was.
My summer internship in between my 2 years of graduate school ended 15 months ago. I spent the summer of 2013 in Gunnison, Colorado at an ACUHO-I internship working at Western State Colorado University in Conference Services. (Go Mountaineers!)
It was the best summer I have ever had in the most beautiful place on earth. Along with all of the fun I had by the river, running, spending time with K & R, and hiking I also learned a lot of lessons that I am still learning from, 15 months later. I have been thinking a lot about those lessons in the last week as I have been powering through some life changes and adjustments. Remembering my summer in #sunnygunni has helped me to stay positive this week amidst a lot of changes.
1. Being in a new place is a great way to learn. I flew out to Colorado without knowing a soul, and only having talked to Kristen (my supervisor) once on the phone. Being brand new was a great way to learn about: a new town, a new campus, and myself.
2. Feeling a little bit lonely is good for the soul. There were days when I was lonely. I had an apartment to myself and not a lot of friends. I was used to being surrounded by my cohort almost every second of every day but I learned to love the me-time. (#PerfectlyLonely) It was so refreshing and a reminder still to this day to take time for myself.
3. I fell in love with my husband. Colin and I started dating only a few weeks before I left for Colorado. While we were apart not only did I fall in love with him, but our Skype sessions and phone calls let us open up to each other in a really deep way. I also met him in Denver twice where we were able to spend time together exploring my (now) favorite city and celebrate a friends wedding! Being apart wasn’t fun, but it gave us a really strong foundation for the rest of our lives. The following summer we got married, and although that summer was pretty memorable too, our time exploring Denver is something that will always mean so much! (We will be back for you, someday, Denver).
4. It impacted my job search. Spending time in Colorado impacted all of my future job searches from here on out. Someday, Colin and I will live out there – or at least somewhere that can compete with Colorado mountains, sunshine, and outdoor adventure opportunities. I left a part of my heart in Colorado at the end of that summer and someday we’ll go back for it. It also gave me a small-school perspective which I needed, professionally.
5. It was my first time at a small school. Going from Iowa State University to Western Illinois University did not give me much experience on a smaller campus. Western State Colorado University gave me that, and so much more! I was working in conference services but I was also to help with RA training and learn more about residence life.
6. I made 2 lifelong friends (and I helped them to realize they were in love with each other – spoiler alert: they are GETTING MARRIED in LESS THAN A YEAR)! Kristen and Rob made summer 2013 the best summer ever, totally taking me in and letting me skip around town with them crashing all of their dates. I went to WSCU expecting an internship and I never expected that leaving those two would be so hard. (Miss you both, hugs!)
7. I took time for myself which was not something that I was used to doing. I went running often, sometimes even twice in one day. I enjoyed being outside. I took the time to read the first few Harry Potter books (loved it, need to finish the series still!). I even bought a cheap basketball and shot hoops at the park nearby. My goal for the rest of my life is to never get so busy and caught up with life that I forget about my old hobbies and doing things that I love!
Wow, what an amazing summer! I am so thankful to still be learning and practicing some of the lessons I learned at 7,703 feet. To all the #SAgrad folks out there: if you have the opportunity to spend a summer somewhere: GO!