The feels all unpaid interns can relate to

April 05, 2017
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Ah interning, that rite of passage that is as much a part of #studentlyf as, well, actually studying. But unfortunately for a lot of us, especially those trying to break into a creative industry, unpaid internships seem to be the norm – despite the fact that most of them are technically illegal.

So it makes sense that your internship might inspire a few broke AF feels while you try to manage that elusive work-life-internship balance (psshh, who are we kidding, you might as well cut out that life part). Don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone in your unpaid intern feels and we’re here to provide a shoulder to cry on, or have a good laugh over, with this list. Just let it all out, guys.

Wincing every time you have to put off paid work to work at your internship

It hurts your soul every time you have to turn down that extra shift at your paying job so you can go to your internship and not get paid. It feels a little like the universe is playing a cruel joke but you try to comfort yourself with the knowledge that you love your internship and that it’ll be an amazing stepping stone into your super swanky adult career. Still, it’d be nice to be able to not have to live off instant noodles on the last day before payday. We can dream, guys, we can dream.

When your boss finally notices you’ve been outfit repeating because you can’t afford new clothes

You only come into the office once or twice a week and you were convinced that nobody would pay enough attention to the little ol’ intern to notice a thing like clothes. But then it happens: your boss, or co-worker, in passing mentions how much they like that outfit. Ugh, I think I just died inside too, friends. Embrace the embarrassment, let it mould you into the fashionista you were born to become – and then maybe hit up your local op shop or your older sibling’s wardrobe for some new outfit options. I bet nobody ever noticed Macklemore outfit repeating.

Getting a teensy bit angry when your paid co-workers complain about their lack of money

It’s a communal cry around the office, becoming more frequent the farther your co-workers move away from payday, but you can’t help but getting a little bit irrationally angry when your co-workers complain about their lack of funds.

A little voice in the back of your head grumbles: how dare your full-time income earning co-workers complain about how they can’t afford the latest tech gadget or hip new restaurant. You’ve been living off the Maccas $2 menu and leftovers from your parents weekly dinner for the past, well, six months. It’s not that you mean to seem ungrateful, you’re really stoked about being offered an internship in the first place, it’s just that sometimes being a povo student gets you a little down. Don’t worry, friends, we’ve all been there.

Drooling over your co-workers freshly delivered lunches while you shovel down leftovers

Let’s be real, the likes of UberEATS and Deliveroo are making a killing in offices across Australia. Your mouth starts watering as soon as your co-workers start talking about what they’re going to order for lunch, already anticipating the heady aroma of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches or dreamy Thai curry filling the office.

You dream of the day you’ll be able to join in on the hallowed ritual that is having food delivered to the office like a proper grown up. Instead, you munch on the vegemite and cheese sandwich you just managed to slap together before running out the door that morning, a single tear trickling from your eye as you stare accusingly at your still-depleted bank balance. At this point, being able to order lunch and have it delivered is pretty much the height of adulthood for you. One day you’ll get there, I believe in you.

Shannon Coward

Shannon Coward is a fourth year Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Queensland. She enjoys period dramas, doughnuts and a good nap. 

Image: Girls official Facebook page