“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath’s fig dilemma has haunted me throughout my college career. I feared missing opportunities and could not resist to grasp every offer that dangled before me. Because of this, after a summer spent waitressing at a breakfast café then bartending ‘til the wee hours of moonlight six days a week to fund my last semester’s tuition, I took on two internships totaling 30 hours a week.
I am Alissa Marinello, a writer with ever-flowing ideas, graduating in December 2019. I simultaneously interned at Public Relations agency PUNCH Media and Beasley Media Group’s 102.9 MGK for the John DeBella Show (which went on air at 6am so my in-time was 5:30). While also juggling 15 credits to complete my bachelor’s degree in advertising, consequently I renounced my position in the top 16% of my class because…my hands were full of figs.
Some may call me “driven,” “motivated,” “determined,” or whatever other thesaurus hits you’ll find. What I call myself, besides crazy, is “distracted.” Taking on so much responsibility in an internship environment where your goal is to submerge yourself in it, stand out and convince the company to buy you, took a toll on me. Having so many obligations turned me into a diner: so much to choose from, so many options, but no dish ever comes out of the kitchen really spectacular. Decent burger, decent pot pie, decent French dip, but when you go to a pierogi place, you’re going to get a damn good pierogi. I want to be that pierogi place.
I wrote great content at PUNCH, I learned all about PR, social media marketing, and the media. At MGK, I learned how to clip audio recordings and craft a podcast, and it was such a cool experience to be a part of radio production. Studying advertising grants you access to many career paths, many figs.
My advice: there are so many big juicy figs to choose from, don’t be afraid to grab one or two, but be true to yourself, and know how much you can hold.