You spent hours perfecting your resume. You wrote five different versions of the same cover letter. You even awkwardly asked your favorite professor for a reference.
And now, all that stress and work finally paid off because you landed the prestigious unpaid internship. Hooray! Free labor!
Look, internships are kind of the worst, even when paid. You're in the lowest possible position of power at whatever company you're at, and managers will often take advantage of this by having you do the work no one else wants to do.
But when the company doesn't even pay for your efforts, that's when an internship becomes downright soul-crushing. I personally have been through the unpaid intern ringer twice, and I hope I never have to go back.
So, for all you brave souls out there enduring the struggle right now, I salute you, and I know your pain.
1. When you first start your internship, you're really excited and ready to work.
So what if you aren't getting paid, right? It's experience!
2. You try hard to seem like you know what you're doing, but it's all an act.
3. No one really tells you what to do that first week, so you try to seem busy.
4. Everyone ignores you anyway, so it doesn't really matter.
5. Then, suddenly you have a TON of work to do and no time to do it.
6. When you inevitably mess something up, you feel like the world is ending.
"Oh God, please don't fire me."
7. You start to resent how much harder you work than your paid co-workers.
8. Every day you wonder what would happen if you just refused to put up with this sh*t anymore.
9. Now, you fantasize about someday doing the exact same work, but actually getting a paycheck for it.
10. You start to doubt any of the experience you're gaining is actually worth it.
11. It seems an awful lot of that experience involves running personal errands for your boss.
Return your own damn library books!
12. You know you're getting taking advantage of, but you have no way to stop it.
13. You deal with it because you reeeeeaaaalllly need to get a job after this internship ends.
14. You just continue to smile and pretend you couldn't be happier to provide your company with free labor!
15. Soon, the internship will be over, and you will have a beautiful new addition to your resume.
16. And hey, at least you know how to use a copy machine now.
Hang in there, unpaid interns! I promise you this era of your life will soon be over, and you'll never have to work for free again.