Hi Carson – Great question! I had this exact concern before my senior year of college. Because internships have so much intangible value (helping you determine if that job is what you really want to do, gaining experience for your resume, etc.) I opted to take time off from a paying job and go the un-paid internship route for 1 semester. At the end of that semester, the company I was with asked me if I could stay another semester. I candidly told them I couldn’t because I had to find a paying job. They then offered to pay me to intern! After graduating college I continued working there for another 6 months. The experience I gained interning/working there far out-weighed the money I earned at the time, but over the years I know I have ended-up earning MORE money than I would have if I had worked at any-old job during that time. Taking that un-paid internship opportunity gave me the experience I needed for my resume to get my next job and get me moving in the direction of my career path. It also helped me clarify for myself in what direction I wanted to take my career.
I highly recommend applying for summer internships. It sounds like you may already have one picked-out. In the long-run it’s only a few weeks of not working for money, but you will make-up that financial deficit if you make the best of the internship and use the experience wisely. Also, some internships are only a few hours a week, so depending on the opportunity, you may also be able to work a part-time paying job so you have some income while interning.
Good luck, Carson!