By Lucy Jameson
Not every student wants to take a part-time job, I know most of my friends do not work during term time, as it can be quite overwhelming, especially depending upon the commitments you already have. However, some of you may want the experience, or need a job for extra financial support during term, and either is fine.
For me, getting a job was more for financial reasons but the experience has been great too. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working! The thing I found to be most useful was planning. I wrote down when all my shifts were into my diary and made sure I worked around those. I gave myself enough time for uni work, my other commitments and free time. This was certainly something I found difficult to balance in first term. However, by second term I’d started to get a much better grasp on my time management and organisational skills, so I was able to do more hours at work whilst also managing with the increased pressure of summative deadlines. Epiphany term at my college is also quite social and busy, but I planned ahead and so was prepared.
One of the main pieces of advice I have for any uni student who is thinking about working, is to not be over ambitious with the number of hours you do per week. I am on a zero hours contract, so my hours are more flexible, and this works really well for me. If you think you could do more hours, ask if you can do an extra day. It’s better to build up than be overwhelmed and stressed with the number of hours you’re doing. If at first you struggle to find the balance between uni work and your job, don’t be hard on yourself. Starting uni and a job at the same time can be quite a stressful adjustment, and if you don’t get it right at first, that’s okay. Keep in good communications with your department and if you’re struggling, ask for help. Write down everything you need in one space, like a calendar on your phone or a diary. This helped me immensely with planning out my day!
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