You may have read in a few of my previous blog posts that I was coming back to my 2nd year of university with a part time job under my belt. Skip forward a month, a whole lot of deadlines thrown at me and the pressure of knowing that after a full day of uni I’ll have to go to work for the whole evening. You can imagine I wasn’t lovin’ life in any way, shape or form.
Some people my age have had a part time job since they were 15, as a waitress in a pub or café, so the work ethic comes naturally to them. I, on the other hand, was brought up to the saying ‘money does not bring happiness’ so was never under any pressure from my parents to get a part time job. In fact, my sisters and I weren’t/aren’t (my little sister is only 15!) allowed to have a part time job before A-Levels as my parents believe getting good grades is more important.
It seems that I’ve taken on this belief during my time at uni, as I made the decision to quit my job and make my uni grades the absolute best they can be, even though this will mean I’ll be extremely poor (!!). My decision was made on the thought process of; 1) After I graduate, I’ll be working for the next 30 odd years, hopefully doing something I actually want to do, and 2) not getting the best grade degree I possibly can because I was stressed about a part time job will probably be the worst feeling in the world.
I’m not going to disclose the name of the company I worked for due to their confidentiality policy, but it wasn’t your typical student job in a bar or pub; there was a lot more pressure due to the environment it was in, I was the only student working there, it was stressful and the hours were kind of awful. Even though I was only contracted to 12 hours a week, I was frequently put down for overtime and when I tried to say ‘hey, ya know, I do have uni work too’ I was told ‘well it can’t be helped I’m afraid’…and that was kind of the last straw. That and the fact I had to work over Christmas. I’m only 20 years old, I want to be with my family on Christmas, thanks!!
This takes me on to the question, is having a part time job whilst at uni worth it? And, to be honest, the answer is yes and no – it just depends the kind of person you are. If you prefer having money to studying then absolutely yes, it is worth it! Uni hours aren’t long so the time some people spend in the library you could totally spend doing a job. But, if you have a ‘I want to do the best I can in everything I do’ mentality, like I do, the pressure you put yourself under can be insane; you want to get a first honours degree, and you want to put your full effort into a part time job – it’s possible the craziness will build up and you’ll find yourself crying on the phone to your mama everyday.
It also depends on your financial stability, of course. Because the student finance policy is an absolute pile of unfair rubbish, in which if your parents have worked hard every day of their lives to provide for you, they are expected to give all of this earned money to you and your siblings’ education whilst students with parents who have worked no where near as hard are given up to 5 grands worth of money they don’t have to pay back?!! (Total bollocks in my opinion, but hey ho, rant over!) If you aren’t lucky enough to be granted all this money by the government, a part time job could definitely come in handy by helping pay the rent and maybe even give you the chance to get your nails done every once in a while!
I was blessed in that the company I worked for were fully supportive when I handed in my notice, and wished me the best with my studies, and as a compromise I agreed to work one more weekend shift for them so I wasn’t just buggering off straight away. But, again, that’s the kind of person I am – I absolutely hate letting people down.
There are plus points and negative points for part time jobs, but my advice to students is – be poor. Be poor for 3 years but work your ass off in the library and you will be rewarded with an excellent, well paid job when you graduate.
I hope this post hasn’t become to rant-y and helps some of you maybe struggling with finance/pressure of uni. Let me know in the comments below your part time job situation – has working whilst stuyding worked out for you?