From what I've learned, these expensive unpaid internships afford students an opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and acquire new skill sets. Like a job at a fast food restaurant wouldn't also provide those things, along with a paycheck.
You've been challenged this summer and you've made a mistake or two, but you've learned a lot, met some interesting people along the way, and maybe fallen in love -- or out of love -- with a career. This is the way it's supposed to be.
There are two ways to spend your summer vacation: a fun way and a helpful way. Most people spend the summer doing close to nothing. Although I did envy my friends who got to spend their summer by the pool, I was able to learn some very important life lessons.
Oh. My. God. This is real life -- and a real internship. It's the beginning of a career; it's the beginning of the real world. I asked everyone and their brother how to prepare. Most of the advice ended up being what I shouldn't do. So, this is what I'm going to try to avoid while I'm in D.C.
At a time when students are working harder than ever to gain admission to college it's comforting to think of universities as bastions of academic inquiry, where students debate grand ideas and discover how they can best serve society. But the reality is more complicated.