Being an adult is so totally overrated. In mid-December of last year, when the race to secure a summer internship began, the thought of an unpaid foray into broadcast journalism seemed thrilling. I imagined running around New York City with a camera crew, chasing corrupt city politicians and sultry summer storms.

Angela Cesere

Now, of course, after my fourth week of logging and dubbing tapes other people have made, I realize those images were terrifically naive, and very possibly delusional. The job is boring, the hours grueling. Deep within the confines of my grey cubicle, I decided that summer should be a time for silliness and sun, for cherishing the long days that seem to simply fade into the thick heat we ache for all year long. Friends, I thought, should come home, and families should reunite. Beach days should be plentiful and bleed onto one another as though the season was endless.

But the reality, of course, is that most of us will need a summer job. College is absurdly expensive and few of us can afford to bum around for four months. And those of us fortunate enough to be able to take on an unpaid internship are urged to do so, advised that it is our best chance to get our foot in the door and start climbing up the ladder early on.

But as I schmoozed with some of the top producers and correspondents in an industry I thought might one day be my own, I was disgusted. I was disgusted with the fluorescent lights and the cooped-up cubicles, saddened by the substitution of fluff where fact should have been, and sickened by the perversion of journalism into corporate complacency. Worse, I thought, I bought into every last piece of it. It scared me how quickly I abandoned my true love – the written word – for a high profile, high-fallutin’ job that offered little more than bread and circuses.

I have come to believe that the end of summer as we once knew and loved it is the least of our problems.

The internship I detest might just be the best thing to happen to me since the New York Times. It has likely saved me years in a job I would have surely hated, and helped me to accept that my happiness is unlikely to come dressed in a six-figure salary with the full benefits to match.

There are a lot of us out there. We are the engineering students who would rather be enrolled in the art school, the lovers of women’s studies who hide in the safe confines of the English department. We are the students who make a hobby out of our photography instead of a career, the would-be African-American Studies majors who choose “more respected major” instead.

A good friend (and fellow political science major) mentioned the other day – in hushed tones, of course – that it is his dream to become a high school social studies teacher.

He took his LSAT last month.

At the University, we have opportunities handed to us of which few others could begin to even dream. We are smart and impassioned, privileged and well connected – and we are young. If it sometimes seems as though the very world is at our feet, it’s because it really is. But some of the basics seem to be lost on us: If you want to take pictures, buy a camera. If you want to become a teacher, don’t go to law school. If you want to write, write. It might be a clich

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