The challenges of learning and internship, whew! Where do I start? My name is Lashai Simms, I attend Baltimore City Community College and I’m currently in my sophomore year.
The beginning of the spring semester was going perfectly fine. Being present in school every day, attending all my classes on time, and being social was just the perfect daily life of a college student. I felt like I was genuinely finding myself at this time. I was starting to make new friends and enjoying life at that moment. Then in the beginning of March, my school announced it was closing. Then other schools started closing left and right, too, and things started to get serious. At first, I thought that we were going to be out for a week or two, but weeks turned into months!
We were strictly online… I NEVER took any online classes, so this was all brand new to me. I was also working a part-time job at Walmart, and so trying to both work and attend online classes was very complex, so I had to push myself a thousand times harder to pass this semester. Online classes are nothing compared to in-person classes—getting the feeling of being around others, gaining the help that you need, and experiencing the vibe of being in a classroom surrounded by people similar to you. Not to mention a professor who teaches at the speed of light!
Now let me tell you about the challenges of my virtual internships. I’ve been participating in Baltimore Youth Film Arts for about a year now, and I’m very much used to being present with other videographers. We all have a specific role such as B-roll, sound mixer, main camera, etc. Because of COVID, as a precaution, we all had to take on all of the roles and create our own films, which was a little challenging. Not being able to edit all together and give feedback in person was a little complicated. I also participated in the Open Society Institute –Baltimore’s virtual internship through YouthWorks. It was okay, but I wish that I would have been able to meet the amazing people within the organization in person and get the full effect of what they do, and the type of impact that they have for the youth. Not being able to meet the other YouthWorks intern, Maya, was challenging too. I wish that I could have met her as well and felt the energy that not only she but everyone at OSI has!
Overall, the challenges of learning and having internships virtually are complex. You have to be self-motivated and determined. I learned to not take the little things that we have in life for granted, but to enjoy the little things and take advantage of them.
Lashai Simms was one of OSI-Baltimore’s YouthWorks Summer Interns.