Work Now, Travel Later: Why I chose to intern after graduating college

July 14, 2015

Work Now, Travel Later


I graduated from Flagler College in May 2015. Luckily, I had an internship set up three days a week, and a hostess position to fill up the rest of my week. When I landed the internship, I called everyone to share the news. I finally figured out what I was going to do with my “post-grad life” and I was so excited to get started. Then I began checking in on everyone else… awful idea.

I checked Instagram, where I was flooded with photos of three friends who were traveling across Europe together. On a stop in Italy, they captured the clinks of white wine, with a photo captioned “Vino Bianco.” First of all, thanks for the invite. Also, you’re from Maryland, Jackie…I know you had to Google translate that caption.

But anyway, we graduated. With a degree in hand and about 17 years of schooling under our belts, it’s presumed that we would acquire that entry-level position and begin the daily grind up the corporate ladder. However, more and more often, I’m noticing a glorified trend of traveling the world, backpacking across the country and volunteering abroad.

I work at a desk; I’m actually working right now. I commute a little over an hour to Jacksonville, three days a week and find myself questioning the very foundations of my life about three times a day, all while my fellow graduates post filtered snapshots of their beautiful and glorious adventures.

Then one day, it hit me: I enjoy working. I enjoy learning and writing, which I’ve been given the opportunity to do a lot of. I’m finding out that it’s entirely possible to nurture your passions at a desk too. Do I envy those who have the freedom to travel directly out of college? Absolutely. But I’m choosing to work now and see the world later. Here are a few reasons why:

I’m fresh out of college and have no responsibilities – oh wait…

This is a common misconception. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you don’t need financial security. I need money for far more important things than partying and wine (okay, the wine part might not be true). But anyway, I’ll be paying off student loans for what feels like the rest of my life, rent in a one-bedroom apartment is just ridiculous, and the weekly $200 commute in my trusty 2001 Durango “Dolly” is really generating a love/hate relationship between us.

While travel is a great teacher, work is a pretty good one as well

It doesn’t really matter where you work, you’ll deal with impossible clients and work deadlines that feel as though they blur into one another. When you work in a field like PR or journalism, you quickly learn how to talk your way out of lousy situations and into some more desirable ones.

These may just come in handy when I travel in the future. Not to mention, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by five women whose quality and badassery in the content marketing and public relations field is off the charts. I feel so fortunate to be mentored by them, and plan to take in every piece of advice I can get from them during my time here.

There’s nothing quite like anticipation

The common misbelief with traveling in the future is that it will all depend on how many days of annual leave you get. Unless you plan to stay at the same company forever, this won’t apply to you. Even if you happen to switch departments, request an extended break before stepping into your new position. This will result in a period of unemployment, but financially speaking, you will still be better off than you were fresh out of college.

Time is so much more precious when it’s limited. I truly believe this. I also believe the sooner you learn to be responsible – whether it be with money, job tasks, etc. – the more successful you will be. If I had endless funds, I would hop on a plane right now. This isn’t the case, however. I just got my foot in the door. I will travel when I have the time, the money, and when I accrue the proper amount of days, of course. Until then, the Pinterest vacation planning continues.

What did you do directly out of college? Did you travel the world or work at a desk? 

 
 
 

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