How to survive university with a part-time job?

By Holly Smith

The pressures that students are under have become increasingly intense over the past few years; trying to balance university assignments with time for extracurricular activities and a social life, whilst still leaving time to relax. Phew, it can often seem somewhat impossible…

But imagine also having to add a part-time job into this balance. It’s something that many students have to content with and from experience, it is not an easy feat to accomplish, and can often lead to stress and mental exhaustion. However, there are ways to go about having  a student job that can make it less stressful than it needs to be!

1) Try and find a flexible job

There are definitely jobs out there that are a lot more student friendly than others. Being a student means there are going to be times when you are completely overwhelmed with essay deadlines and exam revision, but other times when you have barely any assignments or commitments.

If possible, try and find a job that will allow you to work it around your own schedule. Try looking for jobs that your own university has on offer such as in the students’ union or campus bars and cafes, as they are often the most understanding of the commitment you have to your university timetable.

2) Be firm

Often managers, most commonly from big companies, will try and pressure you into working more hours than you want to. From experience, it can be hard to say no when you’re face to face with a figure from authority, but you have to learn to decline their offers.

Managers can often try and take advantage of students because you’re young and more vulnerable, but if you feel like you are being over-worked, you need to tell them. I’ve found that often you will be treated with more respect in the future if you let them know you have more important priorities than your job.

3) Buy a diary

It’s such a simple thing, but scheduling in when your shifts are can help you feel more organised and lets you see when you have time to fit in your university work. I’ve found one of the great benefits of having a part-time job is that you are often forced to do your work in advance, knowing that your whole weekend is booked up.

Having the schedule of your week available in writing shows you when you’re going to have time to get assignments done and often means you won’t end up leaving them till the last minute!

4) Prioritise your studies

It can be a hard thing to do when you’re in need of some extra money to fund your meal deal addiction or some extra nights out. But, if possible, try and cut costs on unnecessary luxuries so that you can afford to work less hours. You have to remember that the main reason you came to university is to get a degree and hopefully end up with a job that you enjoy!

5) Ask friends to switch shifts

If you find you have accidentally agreed to work when you have a big essay deadline coming up, don’t be afraid to ask people if they will swap with you! I often find that people are more willing to work your shifts if you do them favours too. If you have free time, and someone asks you to cover your shift, then do it! You never know when you are going to be in need of a favour so it’s best to help others out whenever you can.

This article is originally posted in Student Accommodation UK.

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