I have had a job since I was 15 years old. So when I started my first year of uni it was so alien not to have a job, and I must admit it was a struggle not having that regular income I was used to!
It wasn’t till I was in my second year that I decided to get a job at uni and there were many reasons why. So I know it from both sides – I know what it’s like to have a job at uni, and what it’s like to not have a job at uni. For some people it’s not an option to be out of employment whilst studying, money being the pivotal reason. But sometimes it takes a bit of decision-making in order to decide whether to get a job. Therefore, I’d like to share some pros and cons to employment whilst studying.
Call me crazy but I love working. I love having a job, therefore to me there are more pros than cons. Firstly, the most obvious reason is the extra cash! Student loans and overdraft shouldn’t be relied on because once your money has gone, it’s gone…therefore a regular income takes away that worry of running out of cash. It also means you have more funds to do fun things such as going on nights out, going for food, shopping or travel. It’s also a great way of getting some savings together for when you leave uni.
Furthermore, I feel that having a job at uni gives you structure to the week. For example, I like to make a timetable of my hours at uni and hours at work, then I can see what hours I have left in the week for socialising and uni work. I don’t stick to it rigidly – but it’s handy to have to hand when I feel stressed or that I don’t have enough time in the day, because I can just refer to it and know when at what time I can fit everything in. It also gives me a reason to look forward to my days off, when I can plan to do what I want and not take them for granted!
Another reason why having a job at uni is so great is because you can bump up your CV. Having a job whilst studying looks really good to employers as it shows you are efficient, you can manage your time well and you are hard-working. In really lucky cases, you can even get a job in your area of study which gives you a little step up for when you have finished your degree!
There are other things to think about if you are planning on taking on employment which may be considered cons. For example, in my first year of uni I was really homesick and I knew that if I got a job it would give me less time to be able to travel home. Also, I have a boyfriend who goes to a different uni and I knew if I worked I wouldn’t be able to see him as often as I did. Having a job also takes up more time that could be used to do uni work, in the first year it may be easier to balance your job and assignments but it will get more difficult to do this when you get into the second and third years. This in turn will affect your social life; you may have to sacrifice some of these times in order to complete uni assignments.
I personally have loved having a job at uni and you will find what works for you. You’ll learn how to balance your time. Even if you get a job and you find it’s too difficult to handle it, most employers will be very understanding. Uni comes first!
Hope this helps!