Do I need an internship my Freshman summer?
You certainly don't need an internship during your post-freshman summer. That could be a good time to rest after your first year away from home and adjusting to a new and often intense place. You could travel. Or take a class. Study abroad! At Penn, most students definitely do feel the need to apply and select an internship. But keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with whatever you choose to do, and there are so many options!
The Signal made an awesome data project about this very issue: https://thesign.al/pages/deconstructing-penn-pathways/. You can see the different paths students have taken during their years at Penn, and hopefully you find that you have a lot of options with what you can do with your summer.
Perky Puffin, April 8 2019 3:45 PM
Wanted to emphasize that it's 100% okay not to have some amazing internship; freshman summer will be one of the few left where you can do fun things that you want! It's totally Penn culture to believe that everyone has an internship when in reality it's totally uncommon at almost every other school. Spend time discovering what you like, and then maybe work on the skills you need to build before applying to internships the years after!
Chunky Chipmunk, April 8 2019 8:10 PM