I'm in a similar situation as this person: Can I terminate an accepted at-will internship before it starts?
I am currently doing an internship at a large company, and I have received a offer for an internship in the same department (under the same manager) next summer. They have given me only two weeks to decide whether or not to accept it.
I'm only a junior in college, so I would like to 'shop' around more before committing to this company again. The deadline makes it a bit difficult for me to make a fully informed decision, because I obviously don't have offers from other companies yet, since they start recruiting in the fall. And yes, before anyone points this out, I do view this company's offer as a backup -- I'm not dying to work for them again (unless I don't get any other offers at all). And I know companies don't like to hear that they are a backup plan. I don't dislike the company; I just feel like at my age/level, since I don't know what I want to focus on yet, I want to try new things.
My question is: how can I minimize damage from retracting my acceptance of their offer? Would I be be better off just declining the offer in the first place and taking the risk of not getting a better internship? I like my manager and he seems to really like me too; I don't want to damage my relations with the company badly.