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The interning barista: From cups of coffee to copy editing

By Liz Lezama
On February 22, 2012

College is about working towards one goal -- freedom. The freedom of working in a field that is actually enjoyable. The freedom of being able to support your own living style. The freedom to begin a life that is tailored to your wants and needs.

Well, there's a wall between college and the aforementioned freedom. A wall that not many people talk about even though every single person has to push through it. That wall is reality.

Being a part-time student, I thought that there was a method to my madness when deciding to only take three classes at a time.

I would take my time, figure out what I wanted to do with my life and at the same time, work and save up money. That was the plan.

The plan changed when I got my second internship. I was lucky enough to find an internship that was everything I ever wanted in a job.

I get to edit, read, fill out paperwork, and best of all, form connections and friendships that I will remember for the rest of my life. What's wrong with that? Everything.

I work at a coffee shop and I still live at home. These two facts do not mix well with the reality that has recently appeared to me.

I get to go to my internship once a week and do all of the things I love and want to make a career out of. I have to make coffee about five times as much as that and I have to continue going to school for another two years even though I have found my niche.

So what's missing? How about pay and graduation. Working at an unpaid internship is torture.

Although I love the internship itself, the feeling that the things I love are within my reach and yet slightly too far is unbearable.

Having to struggle and continue working at a soul-stealing part-time job when my dream job is staring me in the face is, let's just say, difficult.

Regardless of the dream job that makes its appearance every Thursday afternoon, I will continue trucking on because there are no short cuts in the real world.

No matter how cranky those lattes and cappuccinos make me for what they symbolize, I will keep frothing up that milk, keep studying for tests that will never help me with my career and keep living at home because that's what society expects me to do -- and because time travel doesn't exist.

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