So this whole period of lockdown had me wondering a lot of things. I wanted to know if I was good enough to secure internships if I was good enough to use my time productively and of course, the whole period of isolation made me realise that as humans, we are a community that holds the power to either break or make the community stronger.
While keeping all of this in mind, I decided to work on doing something productive- like almost each one of us out there. However, I wanted to do something on my own. I wanted to get an internship because I could not sit in isolation and watch Netflix the whole time. I wanted to sit down and work and experience something that I know would be beneficial for me.
So I applied to a lot of places. Whether they were firms, or they were Non-Governmental Organisations, or just chambers of advocates that I had come across, I had applied everywhere.
Here comes the "tough-to-swallow pill":- I got rejected. Multiple times.
My lockdown period had begun in the second week of March and by the end of the third week, I had known that my University was going to remain shut, at least till the month of June.
Obviously, I did not want to waste my time and started looking for internships that I could do while working from home.
By having previously interned at reputable places, having attended multiple conferences and seminars, by having published articles/ research papers and remaining amongst the top scorers of my class, with all of this, securing an internship must have been easy right?
Finding an internship for myself this summer was the hardest thing ever. I won't lie, all the previous internships that I had secured were all with the help of my family and friends (and their family). I will be thankful to them for all the help that they had provided in helping me secure my internships and that too at really amazing places.
However, this period of lockdown, it would have not been possible.
So where did I go wrong?
I was so confident that I would secure my internship this summer without any issue, because, of course, who wouldn't want someone who had a record of being a good intern, right? (And no, not to blow my own trumpet, this is what they told me and have written down in my certificates.)
And well, with that, reality hit me so hard that my attitude came flying down and hit the ground. The sheltered bubble that I had lived in, burst open.
I first applied at 2 places, thinking, I would get in easily. But no. I was wrong as usual!
I didn't hear from them for about a week, and I sent a follow-up email asking them about the status of my internship application. Nothing again.
Then I applied to 15 other places. Needless to say, I never even got a reply from them, leave aside the email for rejection.
The only reply I got was one of them asking me, "who referred you?".
This made me angry, as if, my CV did not matter, my work experience did not matter and nothing else mattered. Just someone they know would take me in, mattered.
I was disappointed. I was angry. I was super sad! I didn't know what to do and more than that, I was scared. And of course, the imposter syndrome had to kick in!!
I constantly thought that I didn't do well, that all of the things I had accomplished, never really mattered, it didn't matter that I had an aggregate of almost 9 CGPA. It didn't matter that I had a couple of articles published in my name, it didn't matter that I had attended conferences or seminars, because, I didn't even receive an email for the acknowledgement of my application, let alone an email of rejection/ acceptance.
The only thought I had in my mind was, if I never had my friends or family back me up for my internships always, would I even succeed? Would I ever get a job in future? Would I ever be able to do something worthwhile in my life?
All of these thoughts occupied my mind day and night. It really frustrated me.
I almost accepted defeat. Almost.
I really do not know what happened, but one day I was tired. I was tired of moping, weeping and worrying about things. I wanted to do something on my own.
Then I worked on bettering my LinkedIn profile.
I thought, like everyone else on LinkedIn, I could look for opportunities. And I was not disappointed.
No, I did not receive people's messages regarding job/ internship offers and neither did I make a post asking for people to recruit me, but yes, I did find opportunities which I had previously never thought of.
So, I applied. I applied to national and international internships.
This time, I was not disappointed. I got selected for all the internships that I had applied at. I also got selected for a Virtual Vacation Scheme. Something that I had never even heard of, in my country.
To say I was elated, would be an understatement.
Hence I worked harder. With each internship coming to an end, I learned a lot of new things, made new friends, connected with like-minded people and even started our own organisation.
I realised that even though as a first-generation law student, you may have to face a little bit of difficulty, things do fall in place. I wanted to let you know, that eventually, everything turns in your favour.
I am an avid believer of the fact that you are not a failure unless you yourself accept defeat. I also believe in the fact that you are not being rejected, you are just being redirected to something better.
If I would have received an acceptance email from any one of those 17 places I had applied at, I probably would have never worked on improving my LinkedIn profile and neither would I have applied to the opportunities I found over there.
To bounce back from rejection, I strongly believe in the point that one must keep trying harder. You have not lost unless you've actually quit. It is okay to feel sad about things. It is also okay to keep worrying about things. It is even more okay to take a break from everything that seems to be overwhelming to you.
What is not okay is to accept defeat. What is not okay, is to stop moving forward. What is not okay is to sit down and wonder why you cannot move ahead instead of actually moving forward.
A very famous saying goes by- If you feel like you are in hell, why would you want to stop in hell? Wouldn't you want to move out of it? Wouldn't you want to get out of hell?
That is exactly what you should do. Don't quit something because you think you are not good enough. You are good enough, you just need to work harder to achieve what you are good at!
Hope this personal tale of mine has actually motivated you to try a tiny bit harder! Let me know what you think of it?
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