This internship is my first ever “real job.”
I’ve never worked an office job for 40 hours a week, gotten dressed up everyday, packed my lunch, attended meetings and engaged in office politics.
It’s unlike any “work” environment I have ever been in before, and it’s definitely an adjustment at first.
After almost two months, it still blows my mind that I spend 8 hours a day … sitting. Although I’ve begun to notice that I shouldn’t be so surprised. The facts are there. They are showing up all over the surface of my body. It’s slight, but it’s there.
When you go from running around campus all day, switching between classes and getting errands done to sitting in the same spot day after day, your body takes note.
To ward off the “desk chair blues” I strategically time trips to the bathroom and coffee refills. The office runs on caffeine so it is easy to get carried away. I had to start drinking a glass of water with every cup of coffee. I’ve even started signing up for our treadmill desk, although it’s difficult to get a spot since it is so popular, and (this is embarrassing) I will sometimes take a few laps around the office or jump up and down in an empty room — anything to get my blood pumping.
I’m flooded with projects and assignments that sometimes it is hard to remember to keep my body moving. My first few weeks I would go almost the entire day head down buried in my work. I’d come home to a raging headache, backache and chapped lips from a day of gnawing on them due to stress.
Now I know to take care of my body. Although I’m not beating it up physically like I did back at school, if I’m not careful I do wear it down mentally.
So my advice to “desk job interns” — love what you do or you will hate spending so much time there. Stay hydrated and don’t over caffinate. Take advantage of trips to the bathroom and any opportunity you have to go outside. Solider on. It’s worth it.