I knew it could not be forever. That wonderful feeling of lightness and freedom, that “the future is still far” sensation that I felt during the whole master. It was amazing to wake up and know that I was about to learn new things and that the stress of finding a job was not a problem I had to worry about at the moment.
Now, things have changed. A lot.
A month ago we were told that our CV were about to be sent to the firms for evaluation and, hopefully, for interviews. All we had to do was waiting to be called and do our best in case of pre-selection. The curious protocol of finding an internship follows precise steps. As it always happens with strictly codified procedures, you can exactly measure the moment of maximum stress that the persons around you are experiencing. Well, here is how it works. The class coordinator, the Woman That Knows Everything, sometimes appears like a Jack in the box, leaving her underground office and coming to class, holding tightly a precious post-it. When we hear the sound of her heels, 25 heads turn mechanically and 50 eyes look at the door. Everybody’s stress skyrockets. We all know that, in a few moments, she will call some names, to announce which of us has received an internship offer, an interview or, even better, has succeeded in a previous interview.
If you are not among the ones that have been called, the only thing you can do is wait. And wait. And wait. If you are not blessed with the gift of patience (and I am not), it is something that can drive you crazy. Sometimes, I feel like a race horse, desperately willing to run, but held in a stable waiting for its occasion, wondering whether it will come or not. Does it sound dramatic?
Ok, maybe my inner drama queen is making it worse than it actually is, but seriously, have you ever experienced the frustration of waiting for a person you like to text or call you? Have you ever looked at the cell phone, hoping to make it ring with the power of mind? Well, this is more or less the same.
Luckily, some of my classmates already found their internships. Every time I receive the announce that one of them has ended this hell, I feel a sudden glimpse of relief. They have made it, I will make it. Maybe. Hopefully.
While I wait, I have elaborated a strategy to survive, which I will briefly explain in eight bullet points. Because, who wants to appear stressed?
1) Smile. Always. Even if you might look a bit creepy. Even if your grin starts looking like a symptom of tetanus. Even if it looks like you are the secret and illicit son (or daughter) of the Joker. Keep smiling. Or you will cry, and it will be worse.
2) Eat sushi. Or chocolate. Or pizza. Whatever you like. Gain weight. Panic. Start exercising. You will have something different to stress about. Isn’t variety the key of happiness?
3) Daydream. Plan to go on vacation with money you don’t have. Enter in a travel agency and ask for the guide of Japan and the Costa Crociere brochure. Plan to go to Paris with your significant other. Realize you do not have a significant other. Go to Paris by yourself, at least with your imagination. Buy the Taschen Paris guide and lose yourself in the pictures. It works.
4) Shop online. Then repent, send everything back and sack your mother’s closet. All you need is introducing changes in your life.
5) Start wearing a brand new accessory. Mine is a Scarlett A. It means Arrogant, it is the label that my first interviewer gave me after our unpleasant ten minutes chat. I was just trying to look confident. Well, do not let interviewers make you feel ashamed of your personality. Wear it with pride. Probably, that job was not suitable for you.
6) Study carefully the horoscope, the connections between signs and hope your interviewer is compatible with you. I’m terribly serious on this point. An interviewer asked me “Wich is your sign of the Zodiac?” easy question. There is no wrong answer, right? “I’m a Sagittarian” I replied. She stared at me with a glance of disgust. “I do not really get along with Sagittarians”. Get a master in Astrology, guys.
7) Become a stalker. Start adding random people on LinkedIn. Browse the internet in search of improbable job offers. Playing Captain Jack Sparrow in Disneyland? Why not?It would look great on a CV, wouldn’t it?Apply now.
8) Listen to music, wherever and whenever. It really helps to chill out a bit. And if you start dancing in the metro, it’s fine. You are allowed to do anything. After all, you are stressed!
WARNING: any referral to existing facts or people is absolutely unwanted. (Sob!)