This is a guest post by Megan Boyle for Student Stories.
Working as a first-time intern, or a first entry-level job, can be a nerve-wracking experience. Congratulations on having responsibilities now! With these new responsibilities, you have to find a balance between your work and your social life. Don’t cast aside your social life just because you have a job or internship. Companies don’t expect that to happen and it shouldn’t.
Here are three easy ways to form balance in your hectic life:
Organize your life
OK, so this one is obvious, but it is important. When you know your work schedule (whether for the week or for the month depending on how you company deals with that) WRITE IT DOWN. Use a planner, or your phone, or if you’re like me, a thousand post-it notes scattered around your room. Just use something that is easily accessible so you can check your schedule off of a whim.
After you write down your work schedule–this includes when you work and any special events or meetings– write down events that are happening in your social life. Do you have a friend’s birthday coming up? Do you have a project from school due the same day as a work meeting? Writing down these things in advance will help you manage your time better. If you do in fact have a meeting when school work is due, you can plan accordingly and won’t be surprised last minute.
Write Pros and Cons
You have an internship, school, and a social life all running at the same time. When these overlap, sacrifices have to be made. So how do you decide? Write a list of pros and cons, weighing each decision. For example, do you really need to run to the store to get ice cream or can that wait until you finished your presentation for work. Granted, all decisions are NOT going to be this easy. Putting things into perspective will allow you to realistically assess what should and should not be important to you. Ideally, you want to be able to do everything, but you have to know your limits when attempting to balance an internship and your personal life.
Know your Limits
What a nice segue! Knowing your limits is a lot easier to say than do. Having your first internship or entry-level job, you want to prove to your employer that you’re a hard worker. You don’t have to take every assignment to prove that–put focus into a few assignments and do them thoroughly. You can’t expect to do everything at work and everything in your personal life, that would be impossible. Know what you can and cannot do and stay focused.
About the Author:
My name is Megan Boyle, I’m from New Jersey and am currently a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m pursuing a double major in English Literature and Communications.