This summer, what really stuck with me wasn’t one of those large, planned activities, but a small one that wasn’t really part of the program. We laid a poster board down on the ground and wrote down what fear meant to us. I’m someone who has dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression in my life. At the center of a lot of that is fear. A lot of the time with anxiety and depression you convince yourself that you’re alone, that you’re crazy. Doing activities like the one we did where I saw a bunch of people I had just met write down fears and anxieties similar to mine was really impactful for me. Although logically I know that I’m not the only one my age dealing with these things. Seeing that demonstrated in front of my eyes really meant a lot.
I’ve been interning in the marketing department at IINE (International Institute of New England). What I’ve done is design short form content that they can post on Instagram Reels. Seeing the content I made posted on their social media really made me feel a sense of purpose. I may not be directly working with immigrants and refugees, but I’m helping in the small way I can using the skills I have.
I thought that these 6 weeks would go by slowly, but they’ve actually flown by. We’ve had a pretty packed summer between the work we had to do for our internships and the cohort days. On cohort days we went on trips and did things like fenced at a school for the blind and pulled invasive weeds out of the Mystic River. When we weren’t going on trips, we would learn about the various aspects of social justice, including racism, ableism, and food insecurity.
Before this internship I was feeling depressed and pessimistic about the direction of the world. Things just seem to be falling apart without an end in sight. But seeing people dealing with these issues and fighting for justice made me feel like there was hope. It’s important that everybody does their part. Without it, the world will never be a better place.