“Photograph, remembering the summer….”
When you think of internship, the idea of work experience pops into mind. To me, the past few months have been so much more than just gaining work experience. I’ve met a lot of great people who taught me so much, I’ve seen people come and go, I’ve felt degraded and worthless, and I did things i’ve never done before.
To tell you the truth I wasn’t really supposed to be here. I tried out for the establishment, got interviewed, but originally got rejected. But one faithful day, I got an email saying I got reconsidered. I had no idea what kind of game fate was playing on me. After the hellish processing of the visa (which i’m still thankful that got approved) and the sudden booking of flights, it all came to me that I was leaving.
I remember that day when I bid goodbye to my family and friends. That grueling flight to get to Lake Tahoe (Manila > Hong Kong > Los Angeles > Las Vegas > Reno) and my first day at work I didn’t have any idea what to do.
I will miss the long walks every morning, when the chilly wind hits me as I listen to Mayday Parade on the way down the steep hill we use as a short cut. Believe it or not I enjoy those walks. Everyday I look forward to having some time alone walking back and forth from work.
Remember when they said you’ll meet all sorts of people in college? Well, you’ll definitely meet more at work. I was exposed to what reality is. I learned that you can’t immediately get what you want, you have to work for it. You don’t always start at your desired position, you work your way to the top. Of course, working your way to the top has its obstacles. No matter what you do there will be people trying to pull you down.
I’ve felt depressed during the first few weeks. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I was unsure, and scared that I might not meet their expectations, but I learned to strive. I wanted to show them that I wasn’t gonna give up so easily. I tried my best to be what they never thought I could be. I started out prepping for the beach and pool. It was boring at first, then asked myself “studied french cuisine for almost three years for this?” but like what I said, you don’t start anywhere you want. One day I got to help during the fourth of July on the hot line. A few more days after that, I oftentimes got to man the beach and pool alone. I tried to be as fast as I could, making burgers and fish tacos. I loved the pressure, I wanted to be in the hotline for the rest of the summer.
I was told that they’d be transferring me to the pool. During this time, I learned not to get my hopes up too high. Turns out it was a lie and I was still stuck in prepping. I was disappointed of course, thought that I was still not good enough. Whenever I had time, I’d help out garde manger. They became my second family next to the beach and pool department. I’ve been getting motivation whenever I hear praises from my supervisors and co-workers. Those simple words can go a long way. I got transferred to LEG, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. I got to man the pantry, which made me somewhat happy because it was definitely a notch higher than what I used to do before. Though I miss my beach and pool family eitherway, they still taught me a lot.
I’ve met a lot of great people during my stay here. Some I already considered family that the thought of not seeing them anymore really saddens me. I’ve seen people come in and leave. Most of the people i’ve met are ridiculously nice that I feel like my silence bothered them. My housemates were the only people I could be myself there, for we were the only filipinos in this so-called town. We still had our own misunderstandings, but just have to realize that everyone is different. I will miss the weekly trips to the laundromat, grocery shopping, drinking outside our patio and talking about work.
I will miss the unexpected road trips to nowhere. Blasting loud music, windows down and the wind blowing in our faces. When we drove to Emerald bay and grabbed Taco Bell along the way, when we star gazed in Mount Rose, literally lying down the road and when we went to Reno or Carson just to eat at Five Guys and watch a movie. The good stuff, it’s what we should remember.
The late night drinking games would always be a funny memory. That time we played “Asshole” (courtesy of Sean) and “King’s Cup”, that time we took vinegar shots at the fourth of July, when we stayed up until 5am just talking about life and those nights when the alcohol just penetrated our minds.
Here’s to those nights when your friends just couldn’t walk straight anymore, when the exact words are lost in a blurry slur, and to the nights that we learned our differences.
If there’s anything I could share to upcoming interns, is that you should open your eyes to reality as early as possible. There’s so many things left to find out, so don’t waste an opportunity to learn something. Make the most out of every moment you have with people that make you happy. You never know when you’ll see them again. It may take a long time or god forbid, never again.
A few more days from now, I will be back to my old life. My school life. I will be back to the same old routine, not expecting the unexpected anymore. If I could, I would repeat these moments over and over again. I rarely say this but i’ve never felt so infinitely happy and not caring about anything.
This experience is definitely a life changer. I don’t know if i’m ever gonna be the same old me when I get back home. It won’t be just a mere memory, it’s something that i’d remember and then laugh at the same time cherish the good times. It’s amazing that i’ve met people from different parts of the world, the number of firsts and the lasts, the lessons that opened my mind and the nights we felt like kings. It would most definitely not be forgotten.
Until we meet again Tahoe.
“Photograph, oh give me something to remember…”