An internship, whether it's paid or unpaid, has the potential to be a fantastic learning curve in your working life.
Let's not glaze over the fact that it's financially painful all the same. It's the big price that has to be paid when you first step out from college and into the working world and it often gets the better of people.
They become disheartened and just think 'what's the point'. However, that's the thing, there is a point in the end and here's how to get to that point without breaking down both physically, mentally and financially in the mean time.
Focus on the good.
Anytime you feel like the thought of being in an internship is getting the better of you, focus on the good aspects of it. It's valuable experience that puts you in a better position when applying for your next job.
Know what's going on
Make sure you're extremely clear about the terms of your internship. What are you getting paid, how long is your contract for, is there a chance of being kept on. Having a clear mind in an internship is key to getting by because if you think you have a chance of being kept on and are actually let off, it has the potential to seriously damage your confidence.
Make your part-time job as much of a priority.
If your employer doesn't understand that you need your other job as much as you need this one, then it's not the type of place you want to be working in. Make sure that your other job is just as important as your internship. Never let your internship take precedence over another paying job.
If you need weekends off to work, it needs to arranged. Don't become a slave to your internship.
Negotiate your terms
Just because you're an intern, doesn't mean you have to play by their rules. If the normal intern rate is X amount a month, that doesn't apply to everyone across the board. On my first internship I was offered X amount of money but explained my case. I have to pay rent too and pay bills and as a result was offered more money. Getting paid when you're living at home is fine but paying rent in Dublin cannot be done on an intern wage (it can barely be done on a standard wage) so don't be afraid to up the price.
You need to sit down at the start of every week/month and plan each and every day of your internship. Factor in everything.
You deserve nights out too so don't skimp on them just because you're on an internship. Down to your last euro, nothing should get spent unless it has been talked about in the budget.
Be sensible when house-hunting.
All you're looking for for the next month, 3 months, 6 months, year is a bed to fall asleep in. Even if it's the boxiest of box rooms, it'll do the finest until you can afford something better. Getting hung up on houses can be a major downfall in internships.
Bring lunch, Every. Single. Day.
Everyone gets the same amount of time for lunch. Don't feel like a saddo because you're spending every lunch in the canteen with your pre-packed lunch. If the weather is any way decent at all, bring your lunch to the nearest park and sit down there for the hour.
If you can tolerate cycling at all, start doing it in Dublin. You'll save two bus fares at least each day and you'll find yourself beating the traffic every time. Also, if it's a clear day, walk half way or all the way to work. You're getting exercise and saving money at the same time.
It's not much, but even the littlest of changes in your approach to an internship in Dublin can go a long way.