Since I apparently just radiate awesomeness and internship knowledge, I received this question from @interntip on twitter:
Because my answer requires more characters than are available in the twitterverse, I decided to answer via a platform that allows me to be a bit more verbose. So to start, this is a brief description of my life right now. Monday through Friday, I live in NYC so I can intern from 8am-4pm at the marketing department of the Port Authority of NY & NJ. On Mondays and Thursdays, I am taking some noncredit seminar courses at FIT from 6-9pm. Fridays, I have a weekly post for CollegeFashionista due, which involves photography, photo editing, and writing. In between all of that, I write articles for my school newspaper, Haute Fashion’s blog, and of course, this blog. Then, because that isn’t enough, I go home to central Jersey on the weekends and work retail at Brooks Brothers. Did I mention I’m leaving for college in less than twelve days and I haven’t started packing?
As I’m sure is becoming apparent, I’m sort of the definition of a yes-girl, and I highly recommend this way of life. While I am occasionally exhausted beyond belief, I feel that I am able to handle all of this plus a reasonable social life because of what I say yes to. If I’m already committed to writing two blog posts, attending an event, and drawing twenty fashion illustration sketches for class, then I’m probably going to be much less inclined to take on a video editing project. You have to decide what’s important to you and carve out the time to do it. I believe in saying yes as much as possible, because only through doing more and being proactive do you get ahead. However, it’s just as important to say no, because you can take on all you want, but if you don’t get things done, or the quality suffers, then it’s completely counterproductive. And also I’m 78% sure you’ll go insane.
So my advice is first: decide what’s important to you, and look at the time commitment that each activity requires. This is sort of embarassing, but here‘s what I did to decide whether or not to join more clubs or get a part-time job next semester. As you can see, my priorities are getting a 4.0, maintaining my Resident Assistant position, getting healthy, and staying active in Haute Fashion and CollegeFashionista. Based on my timetable, I have no time to join clubs that require weekly commitment or a lot of work, but because becoming a NUTV news anchor requires about two hours a month, I can handle it and might try out for the position. Second: record what you have to do in some way. I’m a huge Moleskine fan, so my planner follows me everywhere. Recently, I have also discovered the efficacy of GoogleCalendar, which has saved my butt on too many occasions to count. I write everything down, and even if I throw away the paper, I still remember the task more easily from having done so. Sometimes, if I have a checklist of things to get done, I like to write each task on a post-it note and take them down as I complete them. I read somewhere that you should remember tasks in list of five or ten, and that’s been extremely helpful when I’m traveling and don’t have access to pen and paper or the internet. Find what medium suits you, in terms of personal organization, and use it. Lastly, because good things come in threes: don’t do things you don’t love. I thrive on stressful environments and deadlines. Hence, journalism and graphic design have always been areas I am drawn to. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it won’t feel like work, and you’ll be much more likely to actually do what you said you would.
Feel free to ask me more questions; it makes me feel all sparkly inside when you do.