Everyone told me that year 10 was going to be pretty much exactly the same as year 9 was. I felt prepared – year 9 was pretty easy, I got through my work and the assignments weren’t impossible of completing. Easy, right? NO. No-one told me that we’d have to do work experience.
Here’s a metaphor for you: think about how stressful it is to get your first job. The resume, the interview, and then meeting the BOSS. Now take that stress, times it by a hundred, and that’s what it feels like to try and find a placement in the career field you’re hoping to head into for work experience. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Well, to go into more detail, my grade got the work experience forms near the end of last school year and we were told to get to work right away so we could secure a placement early and not have to worry about it later on. I spent my eight weeks Christmas holidays not worrying about it, and then suddenly we were back at school with five weeks left to hand in the forms and I had no idea what to do. A little secret about me – I overthink. About everything. So when it came to this, I freaked out that I didn’t have a placement yet and got myself into a panic, which didn’t help anyone, including myself. It wasn’t just the fact that I didn’t know where to start – it was the fact that school wanted us to do everything ourselves without the help of our parents. This didn’t help me because guess who has a phobia of talking on the phone – ME.
I don’t like answering mum’s phone if she can’t get to it in time, and now I was supposed to pick up the phone and call someone by myself? An adult, to be exact, and to ask them for a job? HOW WAS I GOING TO DO THAT. Luckily for me, and everyone else, I gathered all the courage I had and slowly got to work. The first three magazines I called told me that they didn’t do work experience for students in school, so that was a letdown. I didn’t know where else to go or who else to call, so, surprise surprise, I stressed out again. I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember, and when I got turned down by three different places, I got discouraged. Maybe I didn’t want to be an author anymore. I told my parents about all this, and they suggested having a think about some other career paths that I could possibly be interested in. After a few days, my mind landed on one thought: radiology. Don’t ask me how I went from writing to radiology, because I wouldn’t be able to tell you.
Anyway, now with a new burst of courage, I picked up the phone again. The first radiology place told me they could only take me for one day because of how many other inquiries they’d had about the same situation, and that wasn’t going to help me since I needed a place that would take me for five. At a loss again, I had almost given up. After a few more days of stressing and overthinking, I decided that writing was what I wanted to do – I’ve known that since I was six, so why change my mind now? I still love it – maybe I just needed to try a little harder. After some more research, (I’d had just about enough) I decided to contact the creative writing department at the university. I sent an email, and they replied within a day saying that I needed to contact the program coordinator of the Bachelor of Creative Writing.
I got home from school today, and that’s exactly what I did. The man who answered the phone had an accent that I instantly recognised – South African. That made me feel a little more brave seeing as he could be someone I could chat to since we were obviously from the same place. He told me that he’d be happy to take me on as a work experience student, and that he’d email me in a couple days with details on what he wanted me to do and when we should meet up to talk about it! I WAS OVER THE MOON AND I STILL AM. There’s still three weeks to go until the forms have to be in to school, and I’m proud to say that I have no reason to stress anymore and that I’m actually looking forward to learning more about writing so I can become better – both for you guys and for myself.
Until next time,