Puzzled on Offer Day

It was a hot July morning the day we were to leave our AirBnb and fly back home after a beautiful honeymoon spent in a tiny town in California. My husband, Sam, and I both love adventure, but are homebodies and introverts at heart.

We went to the nearest drug store and bought the biggest puzzle that we could find – 500 pieces – and attempted to complete it in less than 24 hours before we had to leave. We stayed up way too late, laughing and fumbling with the puzzle as we tried to get all the pieces in the right spots. We grabbed our leftover Thai food for breakfast at 8am the next morning as we finished putting each piece in just the right places to make this beautiful picture.


Looking back at those puzzle pieces reminds me of the competitiveness that comes with child life internship placements. There are so many pieces that just would not go together no matter how many ways I flipped and pushed them together. Similarly, there are so many hospitals that only accept 1-3 students per semester with countless applications coming in. It’s difficult to hear, but some just aren’t going to “fit.”

Just because you don’t fit, doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. Doesn’t mean that you’re unworthy.

Just as each puzzle piece eventually finds it’s other matching piece, so will you eventually find your hospital for your internship (or practicum).

It is tough out there. Everything is so very competitive. But just like doing a puzzle, sometimes I find that no matter how hard I look, try, huff or puff, sometimes the best thing for me to do is take a step back and go do something else for a little while. I try to get my mind off of the puzzle and do something else that also brings me joy.

For you as a student, perhaps that means building your resume with exciting and unique volunteer opportunities or child-related jobs. Click here for a list of volunteer opportunities.

Do you know what happens once I usually walk away from the puzzle? The next time I come back it’s like I’m looking at the same puzzle with new eyes and I’m able to easily place certain pieces together that several hours or days ago made me want to flip the table.

Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason why the pieces don’t fit other than the fact that they weren’t created to fit together. There’s nothing wrong with either of the pieces, they’re just not meant to be near each other. If they did, they’d mess up the whole picture.

And with patience, perseverance, and determination – let me tell you, it’s a really beautiful picture.

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