My dad quoted a saying to me once that hindsight is 20/20. Now that my internship has come to an end, I can take a step back and look at my 10 months of work with the Forest Service RMRS lab from a different perspective. I’m back home in TX almost a year later and with new experiences and new adventures to share with my family. I look now to the oak tree that’s been growing in the front lawn and it looks the same but a little taller and wider. I look at my parents and my sister and they look the same, but just a little bit older. I wonder if they think the same when they look at me. After all is said and done, I am REALLY glad I went. I was apprehensive to be away from home for such a long time but now I’m really glad I did. Whether my family can see it in me or not, I feel like I grew confidence as a person and as a biologist. Being out of my comfort zone (a brand new environment and new job) really forced me to be come out of my shell, I think. For the longest time during the internship I was quiet and didn’t really say much, but now looking back I feel like I was able to open up a little more towards the end of my stay. And during work, whether I was doing a good job or not, I always felt like I could have done better. I always felt like I was always messing up and constantly doubting my abilities. Looking back now, I think I did the best I could give and that I was probably being too hard on myself. I think now when I go to my next job or adventure I will be able to feel like I know that I am doing a good job and not stress so much about it. I think for that, I am grateful for the internship experience. I think the internship gave me a place to stumble and grow as a biologist and now I will be able to go into my next job with ease and confidence. Another reason why I am grateful for the internship is that with the help of my boss, I was able to speak to her and her colleagues about graduate school and other opportunities to consider. I have been considering grad school but was scared of the idea of all it would entail. I was able to express my concerns about school and they helped me to see that it is not as scary as I was making it out to be. I now have a few more people, my mentor included, to turn to for advice or for suggestions in my professional career, people I wouldn’t have known or have met if it weren’t for the internship. I’d like to say thanks from the bottom of my heart to Krissa and Marian for the internship opportunity. I would definitely do it all again and do recommend other recent graduates to consider an opportunity through the Conservation and Land Management Internship Program.