What is the most difficult aspect of the internship?
The conversations and messages you will share with people can get heavy. You hear stories that are sometimes very difficult to listen to, and it can be a challenge to try to use one encounter or one message to show someone that they’re worth fighting for or to ask them to take the steps to find help. Your words are a part of someone’s story, and you have to hope that they’ll be what they need to hear.
– Erin, Summer 2014
A lot of the work you will do is emotionally draining. Your fellow interns will probably also feel this drain. The hardest part, at least for me, was finding a way to recharge after work so I could show up the next day ready to give it my all. While it can be difficult to live with the same people you’re working with, it’s also incredibly valuable to be living with people who are experiencing the same things that you are. If you can use each other as a support system, the job is a lot less difficult.
– Kayla, Spring 2014
Realizing the weight of your words and how powerful an email can be. When interning, you have the honor of reading or hearing someone’s story, which means that, at times, you encounter hard stuff. For some people I interned with, it was the content that they struggled with the most. For me, the most difficult thing was when I realized how much of an impact my response could potentially have. You rarely know the outcome and can only hope that the email you sent helped someone continue his or her story. It’s something you have to come to peace with because it’s just part of the process; remember that you did the best you could at the time and that’s all anyone could ever ask for.
– Marie, Spring 2013
The most difficult aspect of the job is convincing yourself that the fun you have each day at work really is work. Everyone is assigned different tasks, but in the end, we enjoyed our jobs so much that we forget that most people consider what we do “work.”
– Ryan, Summer 2014
For me, there were two difficult aspects of the job. First, working with the issues that TWLOHA addresses can sometimes weigh heavy on your heart, so being able to take care of yourself in that situation is important. The TWLOHA team is really great about being there if you need to share that heaviness, which helps a lot. Second, it was simply saying “goodbye for now” to everyone at the end of the term.
– Jeniffer, Summer 2014
Working and living with the same people every day can be challenging. If you are moving to a new place where you have never lived before, your fellow interns will really be the only people you know. This will bring you all together and create great relationships, but it is also important to take time for yourself so you aren’t overwhelmed.
– Phil, Summer 2014
Allowing yourself to ask for help without feeling that you’ve failed.
– Matt, Spring 2013
While answering messages is one of the most rewarding parts of the job, it also presents its own difficulties. We are meeting people in their stories, wherever they may be, and that can sometimes be a really heavy point in their stories. You will often find yourself relating to an element or two of what someone is going through; managing your emotional responses to messages is crucial.
– Kenneth, Fall 2014
For me, answering messages is both difficult and rewarding. Finding the right words to say to people who are struggling is definitely difficult. But being able to be that voice of encouragement to them is very rewarding.
– Laura, Fall 2014
The length of the internship is so much shorter than it seems. Getting to work in this world of amazing, talented, and intelligent individuals who share your passion for a better atmosphere concerning mental health is wonderful until you realize that the internship is not permanent. Going back to life after the TWLOHA internship is a strange feeling, but it’s more than worth it for the experience.
– Alicia, Summer 2014