Intern Blog: Four Songs for Intern-al Struggles

As an intern, it is never smart to be completely tuned out at the office. If you use music to get your brain in the right place, only stick one ear bud in the side of your head. You will be able to hear your supervisor ask you a question or request your presence in their office; nobody likes repeating things or waiting for a response. Silence is bad, which leads to my next point: A good tune is like a motivational kick in the pants–rejuvenating, inspiring and emotion-altering. I don’t really need to make a case for music (everyone knows how magnificent it is) but there are certain jams that can get the brain juices flowing and help you overcome some intern-related struggles.

Hayley VanOeveren - December 2013 GVSU graduate!
Hayley VanOeveren – December 2013 GVSU graduate!

The Situation: You need to get something done… and fast. Unfortunately, motivation is lacking.
The Song: “I Want to Be Well” by Sufjan Stevens
The beginning instrumentals of the song will give you a flutter of excitement and amp you up for the daunting task ahead. At about two-and-a-half minutes in, Sufjan repeatedly sings “I want to be well.” Translate this verse into, “I want to be good, I want to be the best, I want to be productive” or other affirmations to kick your butt into high gear. Around minute four Sufjan belts out, “I’m not [fooping] around,” over and over. This is the point where your intern self will cut the shitake and write like the dickens. There’s work to be done and deadlines to meet.
The Situation: You’re doing very well for yourself and recognize it (a little too proudly). Time to knock yourself down a peg and join the level-headed… you don’t have that swanky executive office yet.
The Song: “’Til I Die” by The Beach Boys
When you’re feeling on top of the world and capable of anything, well, that’s a good thing. You are still learning, however, so a sense of entitlement is not the wisest characteristic to showcase. This song by The Beach Boys includes the lines, “I’m a cork on the ocean,” and “I’m a rock in a landslide.” You might think, “Oh fun, what an adventure to be a rock or a cork.” These lines intend the listener to understand how small he/she is in the grand scheme of the world. Brian Wilson penned this song upon his realization that “the ocean was so incredibly vast, the universe was so large, and suddenly [he] saw [himself] in proportion to that, a little pebble of sand, a jellyfish floating on top of the water; traveling with the current [he] felt dwarfed, temporary.” Long story short: you’re still developing skills and knowledge, so don’t be self-important. The song closes with “those things I’ll be until I die,” which really drives the point home. You’ll be humbled up in no time!
The Situation: You’re not being taken seriously because of your age and inexperience.
The Song: “Bigger Than My Body” by John Mayer
This song has so many positive empowering vibes. The next time someone makes a crack about your inexperience or they mistake you for 14 years old, sing along with John: “Someday I’ll fly, someday I’ll soar. Someday I’ll be so damn much more.” Because after all, you are bigger than your youthful body gives you credit for. Hard work pays off. Chin up, Wilbur… You’ll show ‘em!
The Situation: You’re about to graduate, and your excitement is interfering with the massive pile of final papers, projects and exams standing between you and “the real world.”
The Song: “Freedom” by George Michael
Celebrate four (or five or six or seven) years of hard work by listening to this ballad of happiness! You know you’ll be free soon, but you can’t let your internship advisor down so you must press on. “Freeeeeedom, I won’t let you down.” When you get to that glorious day and bid collegiate life farewell, think “And after all this time, I just hope you understand, sometimes the clothes do not make the man (or woman)”… because there were a few days you didn’t look as professional as you could.
Jam on, fellow interns. Jam on.

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