Many students choose to look for part-time work whilst they are at university, which can be a big financial help when studying full time. It may seem like a lot to take on alongside your studies, but working part-time can provide more financial freedom as well as more structure to your university life.
However, the key is to maintain the right balance between working and studying, as working too much can often get overwhelming. In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips as to how you can achieve that level of balance.
Don’t over commit to your job
Although constantly earning money whilst you are at university can be a nice feeling, overcommitting to your job can have a negative impact on your studies. The amount you feel you can work will depend on your situation, but most students with part-time jobs tend to work between 10 and 20 hours a week.
If you start doing too many hours, your job could end up putting you under stress and affect your university work. In some cases, students can be tempted to miss lectures to work additional hours. It’s important to remember why you’re at university and to prioritise your degree, so if your employer is wanting you to work during your uni hours, you need to explain where your priorities lie.
Be aware of upcoming deadlines
Organisation is essential for this one. Being aware of when you have upcoming deadlines and exams allows you to plan your work around it. Chances are, you’ll want extra time to revise, study, and write essays in the weeks before your deadlines, so you’ll want to let your employer know well ahead of time.
If your job is flexible, you may have more leeway with taking time off. But if your shifts are fairly set in stone, you’ll want to allow more time as a workaround.
Ensure you are getting enough sleep
Quality sleep for a student can be hard to come by, especially if you have a busy social life. Committing to part-time work can also often affect your sleep. Many student jobs involve evening or night shifts, which can seriously affect your sleeping pattern.
It’s recommended that adults should aim for eight hours of sleep every night, and if you keep getting less, it won’t be long before it starts to take a toll on you during everyday life. If possible, it’s best to limit the number of night shifts you are doing, especially if you need to be up for early lectures.
Find a flexible job
Job flexibility is a massive pull for university students, as it’s likely your schedule will change regularly. University hours can be subject to change, and they almost always change every term. There will also be breaks in the academic calendar when you may want to go back to your hometown, which will affect your working hours.
Jobs that offer flexible hours are ideal for students, however, not all employers offer this. If possible, it might work better for you to look for a job that offers flexible hours rather than a fixed schedule.
Try and work seasonally
Seasonal working can work great for students and is arguably the best way of balancing a job with your university life. Picking up work over the summer or over the Christmas period can be perfect for students, as you’ll have no lectures or other classes scheduled.
Working over summer can be especially ideal. It’s often the case that you have your house for an entire year, so you may as well work whilst living in your university house over summer instead of returning home. The other benefit of working over the summer is that you likely won’t have any additional university stresses. Once all your essays have been handed in and you have sat all your exams, there won’t be any more academic work to do until university starts again the following September.