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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Hi, all! I’m Nelly the Narwhal, back again to give you some advice as the weather gets cooler and the workload gets… heavier (why are “midterms” never-ending?!). Let’s tackle this week’s questions!

Tips and advice for getting an internship? I’m a senior and next semester will be my last, so I need to build my experience since I didn’t get that chance because I transferred schools and had to focus on going through my requirements.

This is such a great question, and I feel like no one at The New School actually talks about how to go about getting an internship. There are so many ways to approach it, so I’ll briefly go over each of the strategies I’ve used to score internships. 

  1. Reach out to your professors. It’s a little scary, but they’re a great resource to tap into. You never know what opportunities they may have for you, and all it takes is an email! 
  2. Use TNS resources. A lot of students don’t know about our job postings board (HireNew) or our alumni network (The New School Network). HireNew is a great resource, as employers post their roles specifically looking for TNS student applicants (so you’ll already have a leg up!). The New School Network is another amazing resource to connect with alumni working in industries you’re interested in. Schedule a few informational interviews, and don’t be shy to ask alumni about any opportunities they may know of in their industry! This is how I landed my current internship, which has opened the door to tons of other opportunities I otherwise would have known nothing about. 
  3. LinkedIn is your best friend! LinkedIn has a plethora of internship postings you can cater to the specific interests you indicate on your LinkedIn profile. However, even more beneficial are the connections you can make with industry professionals at companies you’ve already applied to. I got my summer internship by finding the recruiter of the company on LinkedIn after I submitted an application, and LinkedIn messaging her letting her know I applied and was interested in learning more about the position. 
  4. Ask around! Talk to your family, friends, friends of friends, friend’s uncle’s dog—the degrees of freedom are endless here—about what you’re looking for! Being so blunt about your career aspirations can be scary, but it’s worth the reward. You don’t have much to lose by mentioning in casual conversation that you’re looking for an internship. Again, you never know what opportunities might come your way unless you ask. 

For a more detailed explanation of how to land an internship, see Sabrina’s 4-part series on how to land an internship. Good luck. You got this!

I feel like I’ve taken on a lot of additional work this semester and am struggling to keep up with my academic priorities, professional aspirations and overall social life. How do I make sure I’m being a good friend, sister and daughter, while also upholding the high academic and professional standards I’ve set for myself?

This is definitely a concern that myself and many others have had recently, and I can tell you with confidence that you aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed by the return to “normalcy.” The key is to always make sure to regulate yourself and make sure you aren’t burning yourself out by trying to keep up with everyone else. Everyone relaxes differently, but here are a couple things I’ve found to be helpful for me. 

  1. You can eat breakfast for dinner. This is going to sound crazy but I have my reasons. Sometimes we feel a need to categorize things by when it is socially acceptable to do them, and food is no exception. There is no rule that states you can’t have scrambled eggs and pancakes for dinner if that’s really what you want to eat, so… do it! Eat the pancakes, have the ice cream in the morning, and make the same pasta three days in a row. Nobody gets to decide what you eat except you, so don’t sweat it too much and listen to your body. It gets hard to keep up with work, internships, school, life and family while being actively reminded of the state of the world, but your body is really good at telling you what it needs when it needs it, so don’t forget to listen to it, even if that means making eggs at midnight. You deserve it. 
  2. Alone and lonely mean two different things. Have you ever been completely surrounded by people yet felt totally alone? A key aspect of burnout is social burnout, and that happens when we force ourselves to socialize beyond the breaking point of our minds and bodies and it causes extreme emotional stress and physical stress. Take time for yourself, and do it in ways that are fun. Sure, baths and face masks are really nice, but sometimes you just need to get dinner for one at a fancy restaurant. No need to impress a friend or a date, just enjoy the mood and the food. If your friends are busy and you have something you want to experience, just have the experience! There’s nothing that says you need to share every memory with someone, because sometimes the best experiences are the ones where it’s just you and the world. Let your social battery breathe, but don’t let that keep you huddled under the covers watching Netflix all day. 
  3. You can’t help everyone if you don’t help yourself. It’s so easy to become lost in helping others that in your generosity, you forget to treat yourself. You are your first priority, so don’t forget to draw boundaries. The people around you love and care for you, but they can’t possibly know everything that goes on in your life, and even if they did, sometimes in their love they forget to take a step back and let you breathe. That’s where you need to gently but firmly say “no” when the time calls for you to focus on yourself. Don’t take on more than a couple responsibilities at a time, and don’t keep too many appointments or commitments for one day. Spread out your time and effort and you’ll find that not only are you much better equipped to handle your life, but also the people around you are more satisfied and comfortable in your company seeing you be more relaxed. 
  4. People aren’t mind readers, so communicate anything and everything. Discretion is but a hindrance to understanding your peers, professors, family and friends. Having a bad day and can’t make it to dinner? Tell your friends ahead of time. Stressed and burnt out and need an extension? Email your professor. Missing your family? Call them. We live in a world where the tools for communication are in our pockets, so don’t hesitate to use them. Communicate your every need and expectation to the people around you, and more often than not, they’ll do their absolute best to reciprocate. Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the extension or that you won’t get backlash for missing dinner, but if you don’t tell the people in your life about your needs, they will either be forced to assume or will neglect them entirely. So, send that text, call in sick to work or class, email that professor, and have your needs met so that you can in turn produce the best work you can. 

These are just some of the ways that you can manage your time and energy without feeling trapped in a box, but hopefully this has given you some insight into how you could fulfill all of the many roles you hold in your life and in the lives of the people around you. Never forget that YOU come first, and everything else will fall right into place. Good luck, and happy relaxing! 

If you're interested HCTNS, please e-mail us at hc.newschool@hercampus.com
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