Every student knows that blissful feeling; the magical moment you check your bank balance and your student loan has come in. Finally, you can breathe a sigh of relief in the knowledge you can eat something other than baked beans!
But for many students, their student loan is just not enough to cover living costs. Unless they are lucky enough to have wealthy (and generous parents) or a healthy savings account, not working while at university is simply out of the question.
There are so many pros to working while studying but it’s certainly not all sunshine and rainbows. Here are the worst parts…
1. Finishing your shift and being too tired to go do anything fun afterwards
If you need time out to chill then take it. Working is tiring and so is studying so let yourself have some time to relax.
2. Missing out on fun plans your unemployed friends are making…
… Because you have to go to work.
You wave them goodbye, off on their adventure, while you desperately search for your work shirt. Did you leave it in the washing machine again?! Remind yourself you’ll be the one laughing come pay day.
3. Spending nights in the library after work
You were working the night shift so you slept through the day, which means the following night you’re at the library. Wave goodbye to that healthy sleeping pattern.
Or you were working the day shift so had to head straight to the library for an all-nighter to catch up.
4. Not being able to afford to wash your uniform every few days
Why does it cost so much to wash a shirt?
You either fork out the cash for the university’s washing machines, pray your friend with one in her flat will let you use it, or go smelly.
5. Not being able to book the time off work
Everything fun seems to happen on the weekend, which also just so happens to be when most of your shifts are. While your unemployed friends can swan off up and down the country – or even just down the pub – whenever they like, you have to go to work or use your precious holiday days up.
Your holiday is likely to be limited and you might want to save it so you can go home during the semester break.
Try and organise some fun activities during the week so you feel a little better when you hear about all the fun they had last weekend.
SPOILER: They outweigh the cons.
1. You get to meet so many more people than you otherwise would have encountered
It is a whole new pool of people to mingle with. If you work outside of the university you will meet many of the locals, meaning you will have friends outside of your uni bubble.
2. Employers are likely to favour someone who worked while they studied
It shows dedication, commitment, and understanding of the working world. Whether your part-time job has anything to do with the career you wish to pursue or not, you will pick up countless transferable skills you can use to ‘wow’ in that post-graduation interview.
3. You should be able to avoid plummeting into your student overdraft
If you use your earnings wisely, you should manage to escape university with a comfortable amount of cash in your account, unlike your unemployed peers who are likely to be dangerously close to the $0 mark.
4. Hopefully, you can afford the odd treat
You shouldn’t feel as guilty when you splash out on a new top, or a night out, or even a minibreak if your finances can stretch. It will make all your hard work feel worth it.
Working will hopefully allow you a few extra luxuries; even if it’s just fancy toilet paper or a branded cereal instead of an own-brand box.
5. You get a break from the hectic world of student life
You can use work to switch off from the stress of essays, argumentative flatmates, and household chores.
Balancing work and study isn’t always going to be easy. But, if you are savvy about it, it is certainly manageable – especially if you find somewhere understanding of your situation. Unsurprisingly, the university is likely to be your best bet on employers who understand you need time to study too.
If you are able to work while studying, go for it. You never know what might happen.