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How to Balance Your Internship, a Night Job, and School

Thu, May 17, 2012

Internship Information

There are studies to support that we can only effectively do two things at once. Yet, with the daily demands that a lot of us have on our lives, that can seem like wishful thinking, at best.

So, what do you do when you have a ton of things on your plate? What do you do when your life consists of, for example, an internship, a night job and school? Is there a way to balance it all in a way that everything gets the kind of attention that it needs, while you’re able to get the stress-free kind of life that you deserve?

Indeed, it’s not easy, juggling a lot. But yes, a full life of great balance is possible.

Take care of your basic needs first. When people are trying to balance multiple tasks, it can be more challenging than it has to be simply because they neglect to take care of their core needs. Three balanced meals provide you with the fuel that your body craves. Exercise keeps you from getting (more) stressed out. And sleep? It’s not a luxury. Sleep is something that is vital because it gives your body the time that is required to repair and replenish itself. There are only 24 hours in a day, but eight of them should definitely be devoted to resting.

Make a schedule (and follow it). Speaking of needing more hours in a day than we actually get, another thing that can help you with making the most of your time is having a schedule set in place. This shouldn’t just be for your internship, job and school, but also for the eating, exercise, rest as well as your study and commute times. For instance, if you go from your internship to work and it takes 30 minutes to get there, then you need to put 45 minutes to an hour (due to potential traffic) in your schedule. Time is a lot like money. It’s easier to keep up with when it’s accounted for.

Use your “off time” wisely. If you’re in school, you know that you need time to study, but that doesn’t always mean that it’s easy to find. There are moments in your day that you can make the most of, though. Devote a couple of lunch periods a week to your assigned reading material. Sacrifice a weekend a month to do study groups and research. Consider taking the bus into work every once in a while so that you can prep for a test on the ride to your internship. You’d be amazed what creatively carving out a couple of hours a week can do when it comes to your classwork.

Make sure to get off of the clock too. At the same time, all work and no play doesn’t just make people boring; it can also make them exhausted, irritable and full of anxiety. Some people go through their entire school career without taking some time off for themselves. Don’t let that be your testimony. Even if you can’t afford to take a vacation or weekend trips, there are things called “staycations”, which are basically little vacations from the comfort of your own home. Devote at least half a day, once a week, to reading your favorite book, watching your favorite film or even taking in a midday nap.

Celebrate your efforts. When you’re always focused on lab reports, researching essay topics and going over test papers, it doesn’t take long before you can find yourself feeling completely overwhelmed. By taking on an internship, night job and school, you are taking on a lot of responsibility. But you know what? Just for that reason alone, you also deserve a pat on the back, starting with the one that you give yourself. When the employer at your internship gives you a good review, when your boss at work commends your performance, when you ace a test at school, these are all things that should be celebrated. The more you make it a point to congratulate your own efforts, the more incentive you’ll give yourself to keep moving forward until your tasks at hand are complete.

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