Internship Diary: Check Your Email

Emily Wray
Photo by Leo Soyfer

Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?

Make sure to set your alarm. Use your GPS, or you’ll get stuck in traffic or behind construction. Have a phone charger in your bag at all times. Find time for lunch, fact-check like it’s your only job, check your email whenever you can. When you write out your schedule on a typical day in the life, it looks a little dull.

But this isn’t your typical 9-to-5. This is a fashion magazine, complete with a staff of some of the most talented stylists, photographers, and writers the city has to offer. Looking back on the past three months, I can confidently say that, even with those everyday tasks and little intricacies, no day was the same, and that balance of routine and variables was everything I could have wanted from an internship.

Learning how to be a modern adult is becoming exceedingly more and more difficult in the current landscape. Western culture favors a system of oversharing and undersharing, of saying everything without saying anything. What questions are unnecessary? What needs to be said, and when? Between social media, political unrest, and an international pandemic, navigating adulthood proves a daunting task with no promise of recovery in this day and age. As a writer, it feels doubly hard. How does one speak with certainty when they have more questions than answers?

Thankfully, I picked the right line of work. I had the pleasure of asking artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, and shop owners about what they love, what they struggle with, and what they’re looking forward to. They trusted me with their stories and offered their time and patience in the process. When you write about the people that breathe life into your community, you duck behind the curtain— your name’s on the byline, but they’re on display. You set your alarm, use your GPS, check your email, and focus on the relationships you’re building.

2020 was a rough year for me. The uncertainty of it all knocked me flat, and I started to close myself off from the people I love. When it felt like the world was going to end— which was most days— it seemed logical to stay in my room, stay in bed, stay away. That feeling didn’t leave, and I don’t think it ever will, but I started to climb out of the pit when I reached back out to my support system. I wrote everyday, even in small capacities, and put more trust into my family and friends. I worked, studied, and put myself out there. That’s how I found PATTERN.

If you’re looking for an internship here, be prepared to meet astoundingly hardworking creatives everyday. Expect to see photoshoots, charming storefronts, drag shows, galleries, and fashion shows at random. Anticipate finding comfort in the routine when you’re planning your schedule to accommodate the fulfilling work you’re doing in your home city.

Things don’t fix themselves. You’ll make mistakes everyday, and some of the projects you’re most excited about will fall short. I spent this summer running around the city, spending more time in the car than I would have liked, and sweating every time I had to spend more than a few minutes outside. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Best of all, you’ll start to figure out that the anxieties you’ve been feeling aren’t a terrifyingly unique battle. The pitfalls that take you down have taken down others, but some of them have lived to tell the tale, and they’ll tell it to a girl with a notebook and a transcription app. They’ve dedicated their time and energy to your craft, and they’re helping you dedicate time and energy to yours. You reach out to the creative community, and they reach back out to you. Be punctual, polite, and offer your best efforts.

Oh, and check your email— you never know who you’ll get to meet next.

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