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#HonorsProblems: Setting Your Non-Negotiables

The following blog post was written by Peer Advisor Nicky, a GWSB sophomore studying international business, Spanish, and philosophy. 

To Whom It May Concern:

You’re probably reading this because you study(ied) or work(ed) at the beautiful George Washington University, so you most likely are very comfortable with our culture of getting internships like they are the candy on Halloween (Happy October spooky fam!). So, as an 18-20something-year-old attending GW and trying to build the biggest and best resume, you may be seeking an internship, or even be offered an internship at some point (because as UHP students we are just that good). Now, here’s the catch- what if said internship is 25 hours a week while you are taking 18 credits, or if it is in New York City over the summer and you are from Des Moines, Iowa? What do you do? Do you just take the internship because your resume keeps you up at night, or do you try to find something that works better? Here is my answer:

Find your non-negotiables.

A friend last year at my internship said this to me, and it has stuck with me since then. Here is my example:

I (being the GW student I detailed earlier) wanted an internship my first summer after college, because you know… that’s normal? (No it really isn’t please talk to people from other universities they’ll think you’re crazy). My issue came about because I have a life back home in Pennsylvania, and most of the internships I was finding were in DC, and they were exactly what I wanted to do later in my life and they paid VERY well compared to PA’s $7.25 minimum wage. Clearly, the DC internships were enticing, but I sat down with my advisors (shout out Mary) and friends and realized that I was 19, and I should really be focusing on my friends and girlfriend back home, because they are a super important part of my life. Does this then mean I just wasn’t going to get an internship? Nah, it just means that I should make sure whoever my employer is knows about my non-negotiables.

The story has a happy ending of course! I got an internship working for Keller Williams Real Estate, which is something I’ve always been interested in, but I made sure that it was close to home (only 10 minutes) and that I had weekends and one day off during the workweek to see my friends and girlfriend. Setting those non-negotiables did its job: I was able to see my girlfriend every Tuesday and see my friends and her on the weekends, which was a great balance.

This is just my example of setting non-negotiables, but it can really be applied anywhere: in class, at work, at home, with friends, etc. If you take a step back and clearly figure out what you want in the next part of your life, it makes it a lot easier to go out and grab it. Hopefully, your non-negotiables are clear like mine were, but if not, don’t fret, just always be looking out for the things or people that mean the most to you and try to put them first… it has allowed me to live a much happier life.

All the best,
Nicky Cacchione