Five Tips For Balancing School And Internships

We get to our junior or senior year and are faced with a multitude of responsibilities.  We’re only trying to graduate, look for jobs or internships and figure out our futures, it’s fine. In some cases we already have internships.

The truth of the matter is, an internship is an actual job, but instead of getting paid to do just this job, it just doesn’t happen. Unless you have your internship over the summer, you’re also balancing school, your social life and sometimes your mental health for college credits as your payment. Doing an internship on top of everything else can be overwhelming. You lose a lot of the free time you would previously have, and some would say your sanity.

However, fear not my fellow interns!  I have grown accustomed to traveling and having 16 hour days within my internship, so I have some tips to prevent you from ripping your hair out.

1.       Use your planner.

This seems pretty obvious, but planning out when you have to be in class and your internship really helps you figure out when you have free time to see your friends, fit in exercise or go to the library to make sure you stay on top of all your work. Luckily I’m using my internship as credit hours so I have a lighter class load, but some weeks are still nightmares.

2.       Give yourself one day a week.

In between catching up for class and getting your internship hours in for credits, you lose a lot of time to do basic things like grocery shop, do laundry, clean your apartment or even make yourself a dinner that isn’t microwavable. I personally use Sunday as my catch up day for preparing myself for the week when I normal have 12+ hour days.


3.       Do school work in advance

Know you have an extra busy week coming up? Great, go to the library to try and get some of those papers done a little early. I know I’m guilty of doing things last minute, but the worst is trying to do an assignment after midnight when you’ve been in class and your internship for over 12 hours.


4.       Spend all extra free time with friends.

With my internship, I’ve been traveling out of state every other week, so I feel like I don’t see much of my friends. I try to make plans at least once a week to grab dinner or coffee with a friend so I feel like I’m not only talking to people at my internship and being anti-social every night when I come home.


5.       Wine, a lot of wine

I’m not promoting drinking, but sometimes nothing is better than coming home, watching an episode of your show on Netflix with a face mask on and a glass (or bottle) of wine to unwind after a long week of not sleeping a full night.

Anyway, the point of all of this is to make sure you schedule time for things other than school and your internship to make sure you don’t get burned out by March. The days can be long sometimes, but you have to remember that the point of school and your internship is to give you real life experience for when you try to become a grown up.

My internship has been one of the coolest things I’ve done in college, I love it. It’s helped me figure out what direction I want to go with my career when I graduate and actually see what I would be doing if I pursued it. It’s allowed me to meet new people, experience new things and go new places. The only thing I’ve had to learn on my own is just how to balance it, but I guess that’s what adult life is all about: balance.