Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week and are staying healthy!

I am three weeks into my internship and boy are there a lot of things I am getting used to. Although there are similarities between being a student and an intern, there are many differences as well.

During my four years in undergrad, I generally took 19-21 credit hours as well as participated and had leadership positions in a few organizations. I took lessons for two instruments and was never in less than three ensembles. I thrived on my busy schedule and enjoyed the challenge. I thought I’d be prepared for the busy life of an intern.

While I had a full schedule in school, I had many half-hour to hour-long breaks between classes, rehearsals, or meetings. There was plenty of time for me to catch up on homework, talk to friends, of just stare at a wall while my mind took a break throughout the day. In internship, while I am able to take mental breaks here and there, my schedule is much more condensed and is much more go-go-go.

Despite having full days in school, I tended to stay up until midnight on average and be just fine the next day. While I’m not really a morning or a night person, I tend to lean more towards night. Since starting my internship, I am waking up only 30 minutes earlier but I am ready to go to bed much sooner. I try to be in bed around 9pm and fall asleep somewhere between 10-11pm. This time continues to get earlier each week! Even though my weeks have less packed into them, I am requiring much more sleep to stay functional.

Starting in my sophomore year, I only needed to prepare to lead one session per week. At the time, this seemed like such a huge task. Now, I have four to ten sessions a day five days a week. While I am not leading any full sessions myself yet, it is still a big adjustment.

Throughout school, my fellow music therapy classmates tended to have similarities in their schedules. As a result, I almost always had someone who was “in the same boat” as me. I always had someone I could talk to who had the same expectations. In internship, I am the only one. It does help having two supervisors who were in my shoes about a year or two ago, but it is certainly different from school.

Being an intern is certainly different from being a student. However, not all these changes are bad. Although I feel more busy and have way more sessions, I get to spend my week learning how to do something that I love. I may be the only intern, but I have four supervisors that are guiding and instructing me to be the best music therapist I can be.

Thanks for reading! Stay happy and healthy!

Cicely McCain