Okay, time be straight up. I’ve been pretty fortunate to have experienced a variety of internships doing a number of different things. Every experience is different, from the amount and quality of work that comes out of you to the pay and the people you work with. It’s not uncommon to get lucky and fall into an internship that expects a lot less out of you than you could offer, and it’s easy to get into a comfortable groove where you do the minimum necessary and just coast.
Many of us have also made it in life by achieving clearly defined goals set by our teachers or other superiors. We feel good about getting good grades, and about the fact that we are above the “status quo” and met or surpassed expectations. Life is not really like this if you really want to make it.
When people say that they enjoy their work because its challenging, that’s not because they work along predefined guidelines to produce a product that measures up to a predetermined standard. Once you are really working, the sky is the limit with the quality of your work and the effort you put into it. To really succeed, you have to pour yourself into a project and really THINK about what is going on. It’s not just about meeting a set of criteria that determine a pass/fail. You have to push your project or assignment ot the point where you are really delivering something of value to your company. And there are tons of people pursuing the same or similar goals as you are. Imagine the hardest you ever schemed while trying to win a game or navigate a social challenge and stretch it out for days at end, then you have the experience of working a “challenging job”
I don’t mean to be discouraging in this post, actually just the opposite. I want to encourage everyone to push themselves to do their best now, so that it’s not such a shock once you hit the real world. There are hundreds of millions of people who are not as well off as you who would happily take your position in society and continue to fight their way up. Get on top of your game now so that you can hit the ground running when you git the job market and really make something out of yourself.