Before I can get my diploma and skip off into the big, bad world, I have to do an internship. A lot of majors require them nowadays, or at least highly suggest them. They’re supposed to teach you what you really need to know to get a job in your field. A hands-on experience to help you not fail at life. At first, I was really excited about it. I found an internship that perfectly fit what I want to end up doing. I thought it was going to be great. I thought I’d be working side-by-side with my boss, kicking ass and taking names. Two weeks in and I found out that wasn’t going to be the case at all. I quickly realized that I was the new pledge.
I remember my new member process very clearly. It wasn’t all bad, but there were some definite down sides to it. Apparently, the same goes for being an intern. First off, you’re the lowest of the low, the bottom of the totem pole, the go-to girl for grunt tasks. You don’t have a choice and you can’t argue about it, much like being a pledge. There are tasks which are only given to interns, like taking out the trash, cleaning the common areas, and answering the phones. In Greek Life, this correlates to attending every chapter meeting (which are mandatory anyway but I digress), going to every single event, volunteering for every fundraiser, and making any and all posters and banners the chapter may need that semester. There is also very little chance of you actually contributing something huge. You aren’t given the big jobs because they don’t know if you can handle them yet. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to run for a position, just not right now. You’ve got to walk before you can run.
Just like being a pledge, an intern knows practically nothing. We’re there to learn and I can assure you, you don’t know nearly as much as you think you do. All of those hours you spent watching Legally Blonde in high school aren’t going to be very helpful when you’re trying to remember who your founders are and memorize the Greek alphabet. This is much like your college classes. You learn everything in theory but when you actually have to do it, all of that “knowledge” you had goes out the window. In both cases, you have to work extremely hard to make sure you’re actually learning something. If you don’t pass your sorority’s exam, you don’t become a member. If you don’t pick up any vocational skills, you’ll have one hell of a time trying to get a job.
Yet another resemblance is the lack of things to do. Those two months where I was patiently waiting to become a full-fledged member were filled with nights of waiting for something to happen. As an intern now, I’m experiencing the same thing. Your boss (or pledge mom) doesn’t always have the time to explain every little thing to you or make sure your time is filled to the brim with tasks that will be useful to you later on. Unfortunately, you’re just going to have to put up with this. You don’t know enough to be helpful, so there are going to be times when you’re left out. Another life lesson I’m sure they’re trying to teach us.
You’ve got to stick it out, though, because what waits for you at the finish line is more than worth it. At the end of your process you got a big and all of the presents a sorority girl could possibly want. Keep reminding yourself that on the other side of this internship there’s going to be a full time job with a big fat paycheck. Until then, you might want to answer that phone. It could be important..