I’ve had several students express strong, emotional feelings about getting an offer on second offer day.
“They didn’t pick me first”
“They didn’t want me first”
“They wanted someone else and then chose me when the other student said no”
Did you know that the song, “Hit Me Baby One More Time”- one of the best-selling singles of all time- was offered to TLC first? It was only given to Britney Spears after TLC declined the offer.
After releasing two albums, Rihanna still didn’t really have a name in the music industry. It wasn’t until she released “Umbrella” which then became her breakout hit. It changed the trajectory of her career.
It was never written for Rihanna. It was written for Britney Spears who turned it down. Then offered to Mary J Blige, who also turned it down. THEN given to Rihanna. And the rest is pop culture history.
Those songs would sound WILDLY different, and may not have made as drastic of an impact, had the first person accepted. Not to say those first people who declined aren’t successful in their own ways, but their “no” allowed the second person to shine.
Just because you weren’t “first” doesn’t mean you’re not worthy.
It all feels really real right now in the moment.
I can confirm that as someone who was offered her internship also on second offer day.
Second Offer Day
I still distinctly remember where I was when I got my second day offer for internship.
I was curled up in my bed at college. All my townhouse roommates quietly fiddling around downstairs getting ready to head to chapel, trying not to wake sad Jessica up.
I rolled over to check my phone and saw I had a missed call from the only internship site I had a final interview with. Didn’t even cross my mind that they’d offer me a second day offer. I thought they were calling to say they were sorry and “wish me the best”.
I listened to the voicemail and they said to call them back. I did, still reluctantly believing they were planning to tell me “sorry”. To my surprise, they sounded frazzled.
“Hi Jessica. Have you accepted another offer?!”
Little did they know, they were my only final interview.
“Oh, PHEW. We didn’t have a chance to call yesterday and wanted you to know we wanted to offer you the internship!”
Cue me, stunned. Of course! Perhaps something came up on offer day. That happens, right?
Fast forward to my internship and on a site visit to a local hospital, I meet Elizabeth. She’s at a different hospital completing her internship. We exchange Facebooks and stay in touch.
2019, we find each other at the annual conference and head to dinner. One of my mentees met up with us who is anxiously awaiting interviews/offers for fall and I tell this wild story about my second offer day experience.
Elizabeth then says, “We probably would have been co-interns. They called me on offer day, but I declined.”
Mind you, I’m 3 years into my job as a Certified Child Life Specialist and the realization that Elizabeth was offered on offer day and I was offered 2nd absolutely WRECKED ME.
It also made me even more grateful for Elizabeth. Not only as my friend but for her “no”.
Without her “no”, I literally wouldn’t be where I am today. I had no other options. My life would have been pushed back.
I’m grateful for Elizabeth’s friendship for a lot of reasons. It’s not everyday you get to meet the person who’s “no” gave you the “yes” of your life.
Once You Make It
What’s crazy is that all of these things feel very real in the moment as a student.
Even those that have to take the child life exam a second or third time because they’re a bad test taker.
Guilt, sadness, feelings of being unqualified and unwanted are all experienced when we don’t get what we’ve worked so hard for.
But the crazy part is that no one talks about that now that I’m certified.
I never gab with other child life specialists about how many times they applied to internship or had to take the certification exam.
It all doesn’t matter once you’ve made it. Trust the timing of your life, friends!