The article is a take on the internship culture, the dilemma it presents to college undergrads and the possible alternative solutions that seem to summarize a student’s summer break post pandemic .
If I had to pitch in the latest episode of black mirror that intrinsically captures the essential collapse of society, I might just bring to the table the possible plot of a dystopia the summer break essentially is, with a love triangle, featuring the insane tension between a college student, summer internships and the reclusive possibilities of an actual summer vacation.
An intern is an unfledged hustler entering what’s basically the hunger games of employment where undergrads try to maximize any and every chance to be pumped out as career ready hirelings. The internship culture has taken the entirety of universities across the globe as an efficient yet at times, a deceptive ploy at adulting.
The benefits of internships range from cost effective employment drives to efficient skill set peddling, a channel of networking and hands on experience in fields the student tends to value more than the drowsy July lectures in sepia toned stifling classrooms, no wonder it seems like the perfect step in the “type A” coded corporate world. But internships aren’t the typical “grabbing coffee for your boss and excel sheet presentations in office ” Nancy Myers fantasy, but rather a tight rope of balancing deadlines and breakdowns.
Even though a stipend incentivised internships offer an angel’s halo to the ever broke student stereotype, they can be exceedingly exploitive in the favour of the status quo and when this exploitation is mechanized as a necessity by colleges coupled with the peer pressure of ‘not doing enough’ it becomes a problem at hand, a predicament that Delhi University undergraduates currently juxtapose with their one shot at having a true summer break for once. While one section decides to upscale through the increasingly popular advent of ‘summer schools’ , the other has an undeterred resolve of the ‘perfect CV’ that has their most fancied summer internships as the crown jewel, while others fancy their truly deserved summer break in the sweet nostalgia of their home towns or fancy holidays that make up a core memory .
The onset of adulthood, the anxiousness of leaving your formative years behind too fast and the ruthless race to succeed in an unforgiving world – all adds up to the truly tormenting experience of being a college student facing the brink of the summer break .
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Featured image credits: Chegg India