I will be the first to admit that I am always looking into the future. As soon as the spring semester started, I was already looking for summer jobs and internships. I thought I needed to get a job this summer to make myself a worthy candidate for a job after graduation, even though I was only a first-year student at the time.

As I started getting responses to my many emails, I began to think I had my summer all planned out. But my life had a few surprises in store for me.

Midway through the semester, I got the call that my grandma was struggling with a recent surgery. Being the fighter that she is, my grandma was able to recover, but this was a wakeup call for me. I realized that work isn’t and shouldn’t be everything to me.

So instead of going through with interviews and more applications, I decided that I would spend three weeks of my summer helping my grandma. Every summer, she looks after my three cousins during the week, but I wanted to give her a break.

When I decided that, I thought that was it. There goes my hope for an internship this summer. Better luck next time! But just as life had surprised me the first time, it soon did so again. Before the end of the school year, I was able to work out my schedule with a local company. Much to my surprise, I now had an internship.

[quote]There is no future without the present, so don’t forget to focus on the here and now.[/quote]

A few weeks before I left to watch my cousins, I got a call from a second company that was interested in having me on board as an intern. At first, I was dismayed, thinking there was no way they would want an intern who wouldn’t be around for three weeks. But I was surprised yet again, and the company agreed to let me work remotely whenever I could.

Somehow, amid daily bike rides to the park, long innings of Home Run Derby, a trip to Kennywood and numerous games of Clue, I was still able to be an intern. To some people, that may sound crazy. But to me, it was the most rewarding summer I have had yet.

Sure, my summer didn’t go as I had originally planned. I didn’t get to spend each day at the office, doing the work that I love. But I was able to spend time with the people I love and learn a valuable lesson: there is no future without the present, so don’t forget to focus on the here and now.