01 Mar How to Stay Motivated During Your High School Internship
Taking up a high school internship can be challenging!
There’s no doubt that there can be pressure when it comes to pursuing a high school internship. Between trying to balance schoolwork, extracurricular activities, a social life, and planning for your future, it can all get pretty overwhelming. And it can be hard to not feel burned out when there’s a ton of things on your plate…
So why even take a high school internship, right?
How a high school internship can help you
While many might question the need to pursue an internship this early on, there are actually quite a few things that an internship could teach you.
First and foremost, they can give you relevant and hands-on work experience in the field that you’re planning to pursue. Jobs are available for younger students, sure; but not all of those jobs are related to the line of work that you might want to take up. For example, working as a restaurant server or a grocery store staff member are typically the jobs associated with high school students. But what if you’re planning on becoming a graphic designer, or an accountant, or an engineer?
A high school internship can give you insight into an industry early on, as well as give you practical experience that you can learn from and apply later in your career. If you’re planning on taking higher education, like college or university, having internship experience can also help you better understand future course material. Having high school internship experience on your credentials can also improve your chances of getting into a good school, and can even open doors for better internship or work opportunities in the future.
Aside from experience and credentials, a high school internship can also be a great motivator. A reported 40% of students share that they feel tired from or burned out from school. Taking on an internship could be the positive pressure that you’re looking for to help you get moving and add variety to your routine.
Staying motivated during your high school internship
Of course, not everyone will feel motivated (immediately or at all) by an internship. Some students might even find them intimidating, especially in high school, or if they haven’t done anything like this before. We know that things can get challenging – so we’ve helped prepare this guide to help you stay motivated.
Set realistic goals
This is probably one of the most underrated tricks in the book: setting goals can help you stay motivated, as of course you know what you’re working towards!
When you set realistic goals, you’re given the drive to put in the work, since the goals you set are attainable. It’s different from saying, “I want to learn a lot” or “I want to do well.” Of course, those things are a given! But to get more specific, you could say, “I want to learn at least five more Excel codes and tricks,” or perhaps “I want to be given recognition among our group of interns.” Some more possible goals could be wanting to attain a certification, learning how to operate certain programs, or even getting a job offer.
Depending on what you’re planning, you can even opt to come up with a list of three or four goals that will help you stay focused.
Use time intentionally
Another way to stay motivated during your high school internship is to be more intentional with the use of your time. This is actually a tip that can be applied in any area of your life.
When we say use your time “intentionally,” what we really mean is that you should dedicate fair amounts of time to the different activities in your life. Taking on an internship doesn’t mean that you have to swim neck deep in tasks all the time – and the same goes for school, sports, clubs, and even relationships. Striking a healthy balance between all of your priorities is absolute key.
Also, avoiding procrastination is a MUST. Using time with intention means being serious about getting things done in a certain window of time or within a certain deadline. We all would do well to avoid using our phones during work hours, scrolling on social media during meetings, or playing games while work should be the priority.
You could also set routines and schedules, too! You could opt to use time blocking as a means of time management and productivity. Set a finite amount of time each day to attend to work, to do school-related things, and to have leisure time! Make sure to schedule breaks, as well, to avoid overworking.
Create meaningful connections
People can feel unmotivated at work when they feel lonely.
When you’re taking up a high school internship, it’s particularly important to make connections, or at least be friendly. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the experience. Making work friends or mentors can motivate you to do better and to become more consistent at work. Whether they’re your fellow interns or someone that you look up to in the office, finding someone to help keep you going can help inspire you.
Be kind to yourself
Another underrated, but very important trick? It’s staying kind to yourself!
A lot of the negative pressure from internships and other activities in general can come from your own worries. If you’re being too hard on yourself, we totally get it – it can be hard to fight those overthinking worries. They truly can’t be helped at times. But when things get overwhelming and you find yourself worried, you have to take a step back to remember…
This is a learning experience!
Remember that you aren’t expected to be perfect nor are you expected to know absolutely everything. Taking on a high school internship is a chance to get better and find out more about the path you’re planning on taking! No one thinks that you should have it all together, we’re all human.
Having a more positive attitude towards your internship and the work that you do can help you succeed and stay motivated! Remember that being unkind to yourself won’t help anyone, especially not yourself.
How to find the right high school internship
If you still aren’t sure about taking a high school internship, no worries – you definitely have time to decide, and we 100% encourage you to do your own research!
Pursuing an internship is definitely a commitment, so knowing what to expect can help you determine whether it’s the right choice for you. Regardless, know that if you do put your mind to it, you can handle it and come out smarter and stronger. Sticking to it and staying motivated is definitely possible if you set your mind to it.