In recently months, I’ve blogged a lot about “this summer.” I’ve always been a little vague, and I figure it’s about time I clear things up a bit. As per usual, I’m doing an internship this summer. Unlike summers past, though, I’m not going home for my internship. Rather than going back to my roots where things are safe and comfortable, I’m spreading out. I’m branching out. I’m going on the biggest adventure of my 21-year life.
This time next week, I’ll be in my car, driving the 33 hour trip from Chicago to Sacramento, California. I’m heading out to the other side of the country to work with AdFarm. According to their website, AdFarm is “an integrated marketing, branding and digital agency with uncommon expertise in agriculture.” I’ll be helping on a lot of different stuff, but I’ve heard most about the chance to work on the “Know a California Farmer” program. The idea is to enable farmer-to-consumer communication in California. It’s a great program with massive potential.
This is going to be a big experience for me, for many reasons. I’ll be doing new work, with new people, in a new place. I’ll be experiencing life in an entirely different region of the United States. I’m going to have to learn about public transportation and maneuvering in a big city. I know there will be a degree of culture shock. I’m a sheltered little midwestern girl; who knows what new experiences I’ll encounter in Sacramento.
I’m not entirely sure what they’ll have me doing there; I do know I’ll be spending a little time out on the road. I do know I’ll have a few opportunities to interact directly with California’s farmers. I do know I hope to visit some of my west coast friends while I’m out there. Most of all, I know I’m going to learn.
How do I feel about this? It’s exhilarating. I’ve done only moderate travelling in my short life thus far, and have never driven outside of the midwest. It’s exciting, for many reasons. I’ll get to see and do things I’ve never done before. I’ll get to meet folks I’ve only enjoyed over Twitter and Facebook, as well as reunite with friends I’ve met in person before. I’ll get to do work that aligns with my ideals and my interests, with people who genuinely enjoy what they do. It’s scary, for a lot of reasons. I’ll be driving alone across seven states over three days. I’ll be living in a strange place for two and a half months. I’ll be taking on new responsibilities in a new environment. I’ll be fulfilling new expectations. I have never left the upper-midwest for more than a week at a time. I’ve never stayed away from my home area of Illinois for more than two or three weeks at a time. The fear, though, is healthy in moderation. It’s a normal and natural part of new experiences, especially something this big.
I think it’s safe to say, though, that the excitement and optimism is bigger.
With that in mind, I need to wrap this up and hop on the road back to college. I have a few days of finals before I start my big summer adventure.