I belong to a type of human being that gets extremely attached to people very quickly, which is not ideal in the scenario of internship where the job ends after 3 months. And unfortunately for me, I grew attached to that place starting from the second week I was there. I mean, if you are around people who stays late at work to help you out, a manager who genuinely cares about your welfare and development, people who takes you seriously and are genuinely helpful, it’s kind of hard not to get attached. So as you can imagine, I felt pretty emotional on the last week.
Things that I did on my last week
I tried to start handing over stuff starting from the beginning of the week – or even the end of the week before. Someone in my department left the week before me (my sad manager had to handle the heartache of losing almost half of his department in the span of 7 days) and even though he had 5 weeks starting from handing in his notice to actually leaving the company, he was still working until the last minute. The week after he left, I got so confused reading his email over and over again since he gave me some tasks literally 5 minutes before he left the office for the last time (needless to say the frustration on that last week was killing me). So I didn’t want to become like him and decided that I should hand things over much earlier to give people time to ask questions in case they have any. But the main reason is to give enough time for me to process that I’m actually leaving and to convince myself that yes, I left nothing behind that needs to be done.
My workload strangely increased exponentially on that last week, partly because the guy who left before me left some stuff to be done on top of the things that I need to do, partly because that’s how my department work and I can never predict how much workload I’m going to have in a given time. I just tried my best to prioritise things that are urgent and hand over others that I think others can do, including returning some tasks to people who gave them to me (someone did give me some tasks around 3 hours before I need to leave the office, how am I going to finish it?)
Saying goodbye to everyone is one of the hardest thing about leaving – I’ve done this so many times and sometimes still can’t handle my own tear duct. I was determined to not let any emotion overwhelm me, and thankfully I was able to say goodbyes in stages. Some of my friends take their holidays on my last week, so I had to say goodbye starting from 4 days before my last day. In some sense it sucks that I even have less time to spend with them, on the other hand I’m thankful that I don’t get too many heartache in one go. One of my sweet friend commented with such deep words, “Just smile. It makes saying goodbye hurts less”.
Last day …
I remember planning my last week to minutiae details and was convinced that I am going to finish the tasks that I plan I’m going to do. But alas, my department works differently and urgent tasks come like a thief at night when people are fast asleep thinking they are safe and sound. On my last day I planned to do a few tasks that I think should only take half a day to finish and so I do have time to go around and say bye to everyone. I had to consult a test result with someone, which I was convinced that there’s nothing wrong with it, but then turned out he was concerned with the result. Oh well…
By the time I sorted things out, it was already 2 pm. I barely had time to just write some emails to people to handover certain stuff and say goodbye before 4.30 pm. Not that I’m being inefficient, but in between some people wish to come over and say goodbye to me, which I prioritise over emails, which for me is quite a no brainer.
And then it’s over…
I honestly can’t believe on how fast it went by. I spent the time on the train going back reflecting on my internship. It was a sad train trip as I kept reminiscing about past times and how sweet people are. I looked out from the window and try to appreciate the scenery of my last train trip home. But at the same time I am happy that I’ve learned a lot and I’ve accomplished what I told myself I need to do in the beginning. I’m already missing all those sweet faces that I meet every day, the lunch break where I get to see my friends, the bunnies in the office and Felix the cat. But life goes on – and memories stay forever.
My Internship Post Series