This piece is by Tyla-Mae Matthews, one of our Stagecoach Student Ambassadors. Find out more about our student ambassadors.
As we all know, university life is expensive. After all, most people’s student loans won’t even cover their accommodation, never mind other living expenses (though we do have some top tips on saving money as a student). So, like the responsible students we are, many of us will find a part-time job while at university.
Having a part-time job while studying can definitely have its positives and negatives. But here are 5 things you’ll know if you’re working while studying at uni.
1. Everyone goes out when you’re in work
You know the drill - you’re in work 4pm - 9pm. At 3:30pm, you’ll get a message from the group chat saying “does anyone fancy doing anything tonight?”.
By the time you get in from your shift, your mates will have all gone shopping, out for a meal, somehow got drunk, and someone has probably broken their leg. How can this all happen within a period of 5 hours?
And more importantly... how dare one of your friends drunkenly break their leg without you being there to film it? Just rude, if you ask me!
2. You have to balance work, uni, and life
A part of you will die inside every time a mate says they have “no time to do the essay”. This is the same mate that doesn’t go out, sleeps in until 4pm, and literally does nothing.
On the other hand, you’re trying to balance going to lectures, making it into work on time, keep up with all of your uni work, and try and find time to socialise. It can get a bit hectic sometimes, but at least it puts your time management skills to work!
3. Work friends vs uni friends
Work friends can empathise if you’ve had a tough day in work, while also cheer you up with daily banter. Depending on where you work, you’ll probably be one of the youngest people there, so most likely, everyone in work will tend to mother you without realising! Either that, or they’ll keep mentioning “how young you are” every day.
But when you’re in work, you’ve got to be professional and mature - the complete opposite of most people’s university persona!
So when your work friends ask you what you’re up to at the weekend, don’t say you’re getting drunk with your uni mates. Even if that’s definitely what you’re going to do!
On the other hand, you can pretty much tell your uni friends anything without any judgement. Why? Because you’ve witnessed most of them vomiting during Fresher’s week. And if that doesn’t create long-lasting friendship bonds, I don’t know what does!
4. Term breaks aren’t breaks for you
While most of your uni friends will be going back home, or even spend the week off doing nothing at all, you’ve got to work instead.
Your boss probably knows you’re off uni, too, so will ask you to do overtime, or cover shifts for other people. So, you’ll be pretty much living at work for the term break.
That’s not all bad news though - with the extra work comes more money. So, although you’ll probably have sacrificed all of your free time, at least you won’t be too broke!
5. The valuable skills you learn
Although it might not seem like it now, working part time at uni does give you valuable skills that you can take with you in your future endeavours!
And, no, I don’t mean your “how long can I procrastinate before I do this essay” skills!
Juggling work and uni means you have to plan your time effectively, which is one of the most important skills to have when applying to jobs in the future. It also shows future employers that you can pretty much do two things at once - studying and working - so you’ll already have better chances in the job market because of this.
Also, it helps you develop skills in your day to day life. At work, you might get a customer screaming at you for not giving them a refund for a bag that is 5 years old, but you’ve got to remain calm, cool, and collected. So, when you’re stressing about the amount of work you’ve got to do, instead of freaking out and not knowing what to do, you’re able to stay cool-headed.
So, whether you love your job and look forward to it everyday, or absolutely loathe it, just remember that you’re not alone in the “working while studying” struggles!
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