Help me make this semester a success
August 26, 2013 1:02 PM Subscribe
I'm going into my fifth year of college and I still have had no jobs, no internships, no relationships with my professors and no references/recommendations. I don't think I'll be able to get a job with the current state of my resume. Please help me figure out what I need to do to change all that this semester.
posted by anonymous to education (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I live with my parents and travel 30 minutes to my university. I have a lot of outside obligations - my mother is sick, my younger brother is disabled and my father works - so I take care of everyone and everything at home. I have to constantly drive them/accompany them to doctor's appointments, help with meds, help with my brother's home physical therapy, cook meals, etc. This is where part of the issue lies; I don't have the time to get a part-time job. I have only had one part-time job in high school and it only lasted a few months. So I have no job experience at all.
The other bigger part of the problem is my social anxiety/avoidance. I don't really know if it is social anxiety because I'm not afraid to talk to most people. I just don't want to get close to anyone. I'm only afraid to speak to professors one-on-one; office hours seem terrifying to me. I'm also afraid to try new things. I would like to volunteer but I'm too afraid. I've been getting much worse over the last 4 years, to the point where I barely leave the house now unless it is necessary. There are things I want to do, but it's easier to just stay at home.
Things are changing this semester because we now have a home health aide who helps around the house. I really need to work on getting one or two references this semester so I can get an internship for the summer. I need some advice on how to do this. I have two classes (40 students, 75 students) taught by graduate students - these two classes are for my social science major which isn't as important as my other major. I have two classes (100-150 students each) taught by professors (one who is very well-known in the field) - these are for my math major. I rarely have questions that can't be Googled and I don't want to waste the professor's time, so I'm struggling figuring out how to do this.
Here are some numbered questions so it will be easier to respond:
1. How do I go about getting to know professors when they make me nervous? I'm in the most advanced undergraduate classes for my majors and there are still 100+ students in class, so it's not like I can make myself known during class (they aren't any discussions in math lectures anyway). I feel like I would be wasting their time in office hours if I don't have a legitimate question.
2. How common is it for internships to not require or check references/recommendations? I will be looking for statistics and data analysis internships.
3. Should I bring up my home situation in interviews, on my resume, anywhere? I would hate to have someone think I was slacking off and partying this whole time, but it just doesn't seem like an appropriate thing to bring up.
4. How can I push myself to just go out there and do what needs to be done? I've been putting off talking to professors and volunteering for YEARS now. I can't believe it's been 4 years and I haven't made one new connection at my university.
5. I would appreciate any other advice you can offer about getting references/recommendations, landing an internship and dealing with a resume that is mostly blank.
Please don't mention therapy. I'm looking for a different suggestion. My health insurance doesn't cover mental health, and I will go to a therapist as soon as my insurance company covers it this January. The cheapest therapist I could find wants $80 a session, which I can't afford. I've been to the 3 free sessions my university's counseling office offers and they were awful (the therapist asked me how it is possible to not have a single friend and said it is impossible to not have spoken to any professors in the last 4 years). I know I need therapy. I WANT it! It will happen once I am covered this January.