Ask a Collegiette: How to Balance Being an Intern & a Student

Are you a smart and savvy pre-collegiette looking for answers to some of your most personal questions about college? You know, the ones about boys, classes, roommates and parties that your school’s guidance office can’t help you with? Jen is here to answer those questions! Whatever your concern, she’ll do her best to help you so you can make sure you don’t just survive college, but rock it!

What's your best advice for managing internships and class loads? –Rachel


Rachel,

Let me start off by saying that you most likely won’t need to worry about managing internships and homework together for at least your second semester of college, so try not to stress too much about it just yet! Your first year of college will mostly be for getting a grasp on what you want to study and navigating what it’s like to be out of high school. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to binge watch Orange Is the New Black on Netflix in the meantime before you head full throttle into an internship.

When it comes to internships, every program is different, even if they’re all within the same field. In my case, I’ve had internships and writing positions with nine different websites, and each has held a very different standard of guidelines for what they expect. Due to this, I researched and got a feel for each publication before I began working hands-on with them regularly. I’d suggest the same for you; look for an internship that will challenge you, but will also respect your responsibilities as a student with other classes and commitments.

Looking at the big picture, I think a few simple and general points to remember when trying to balance everything are these rules: Take time to rest and relax, work hard but also have fun (since you’re only in college for so long) and make sure you’re willing to give your best effort to your internship. Remember back in the day on The Hills when LC and Whitney were working as interns at Teen Vogue? They excelled at their internship because they loved that industry and were willing to work hard and make sacrifices in order to be there, and it shined through. It won’t benefit you much to get an internship you don’t care about “just to have one,” since the quality of your work will be poor if you don’t want to put forth the effort. So if that means that you have to wait until a little later in your college career to get an internship, do so in order to be more successful.

Another point to remember is that everyone struggles with finding a proper balance between his or her personal and social life, internships and homework. It’s almost as if it comes in waves: There are seasons when it’s easy to figure out how to handle all of your responsibilities, and other times when it seems impossible. It’s easy to just throw in the towel and ugly cry when these moments come along, but you have to remember that you’re stronger than whatever it is that is causing you to be stressed.

I suggest purchasing a planner or figuring out another way to keep yourself organized, since doing so is one of the best ways to make sure you’re maintaining balance in your schedule. This will let you write down what you’re doing and when so you can be in control of what’s happening. It also forces you to practice good time-management skills, which will be super helpful throughout your college career (and beyond!).

A second idea is to make an inspiration board with photos and quotes to keep you motivated during the stressful times in the semester. This could mean photos of Beyoncé to help you feel fierce and ***flawless, or a picture of Kim Kardashian crying or Britney in 2007 to remind yourself that you will get through all your semester throws at you – they did it, and so can you!

Don’t forget that college is designed to prepare you for what your career will be like, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re having trouble finding a balance between everything at first. Just like you learn and grow academically in college, give yourself room to do the same personally, too. Learning how to master your internships and gaining essential time-management skills will allow you to feel more confident and in control of your future, which is looking super bright!

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