Starting university and becoming a student is an exciting life experience and it can be tempting to take on everything you can to pay for your bills and accept all the new responsibilities you’ve adopted. Although this new part of your life is a chance to explore your freedom and finally be an ‘adult’, it’s good to understand the balance between work, play and studies and to not take on too much as a student.
The biggest issue that students deal with is coping with a part-time job with their studying. Most students can live on a student loan, but that doesn’t include impulse buying, (most items are seen as luxury anyway!) and money for going out, so the majority of students take up a job to have more money for the things they want. It isn’t always as easy as that. Part-time jobs for students can sometimes only offer weekend and evening/night work as you’re too busy studying and attending classes during the day, which means you don’t get many days for yourself. It can also be tough during exam season or when you have coursework due and studentas are relying on a study guide to help them out, as you have an extra burden on your workload which you’re trying to accomplish during a busy week. It can then be difficult to get to go back home and see your friends and family as your job – if it’s fixed contracted or permanent – won’t fit around your university timetable.
Another issue for students is trying to secure placements and work experience during their degree, because as the graduate employment figures show, it can be really tough to find a job after you graduate. Lots of students work unpaid hours and complete internships at a low wage to try and get their CV sparkle more than their peers. But this also has its downside with students basically working without a wage and dipping into their loans or bank accounts to commute to this placements, and try to live at the same time. Especially students wanting to break into the writing or arts industry where their portfolio’s are just as important as their qualifications.
University degrees are very expensive, with some students paying nearly £9,000 each year, which means it’s not something you can do whenever you want later in life. University is an opportunity. Students can forget the privilege they have with tuition fee loans and getting a great education and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you can’t cope with working whilst studying, then you should consider cutting your hours and cutting back on your budget. At the end of the day your studies are the most important thing right now.
Lastly, students need to understand that they have started a new part of their life at university, and it they find themselves losing touch with old friends, or only getting to see their family once every three months – that’s okay, it’s expected! You can’t please everyone and you physically can’t be in two places at once. You have to be able to fit in your old life when you can, not when others expect it of you; and if you’re friends can’t accept that then it’s their loss!
With this newfound freedom and life each student adapts when they become an undergraduate is an amazing feeling, which should be treated as it really is; precious. Don’t waste your time trying to work just to have a few more drinks on a weekend which in turn means a few less marks on your coursework. Spend the time when you need to spend it, concentrate on yourself and don’t take on too much! University is too expensive to waste – literally!
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