Should students punch above their weight: the benefits of hard work

Should students punch above their weight: the benefits of hard work

Should students punch above their weight: the benefits of hard work

University students are infamously known for their parties, drinking and bad sleeping habits. Even if an undergraduate chooses to nap every day instead of attending their one O’Clock lecture does that mean they’re not working hard enough? Some students work their timetable like a full-time job, whilst others ignore the responsibility and sail through university on the skin of their teeth. Should students punch above their weight, and reap the benefits of hard work, or does the amount of labour expected of them reveal unrealistic expectations and they should enjoy their experience? Either way, plenty of students ask themselves every day, is university for me?

The benefits of hard work is a list as long as your arm – no, you don’t have to write them down physically on your arm! If you become involved in university societies, complete extra credit and go that extra mile for that higher mark then it will all pull through in the end. You’ll receive a better degree grade, maybe even get a better job and have the satisfaction of knowing that your time was well spent as an undergraduate.

The work might be challenging, but that is what it is about right? Nobody gets a degree because it is easy or a breeze to accomplish. Students understand what is expected of them when they accept their university offer and student loan contract. If your degree is challenging, when you leave you’ll have the knowledge that you really did exert yourself and accomplish something worthwhile!

You can set yourself goals academically, personally and even career wise. Your hard work will pay off in grades, responsibility, financial situation and maybe set yourself up for great work experience and a fantastic looking CV once you graduate. After graduation, students have to manage their lifestyles and set goals and follow ambitions through their adult life and by doing this early, at university, you’re getting in the practice that you need.

If you are constantly working towards the next level, and applying yourself in every way that you can, you’ll gain skills like organisation and planning and achieve realistic outcomes. We’re not expecting you to receive the Nobel Prize whilst studying your degree, but if you aim for that first and get a high 68 in your essay then it is for a decent cause – your future.

Not only does this ‘extra mile’ affect your coursework, but employers will see your grades on your resume and all of the other extracurricular activities you were involved in and see how passionate you are to develop yourself. This dedication will reflect on your studies, and even if you don’t exactly get the grades that you striving for, you’ll get a glowing reference from your personal tutor and lecturer’s because they’ll know the level of effort you put in.

At the opposite side of the spectrum, you can understand that university is a life experience and it shouldn’t spend wasting away in your library. Although it is wonderful to gain work experience or to try new things whilst doing your degree, employers can tar all graduates with the same brush.

Some employers look for personality, flare and a bag of fresh ideas when it comes to employing new staff and those months volunteering might not even be read on your CV. Or you could find that your interest in pottery – and all that work as a Treasurer for your Clay and Pottery Society won’t make the mark.

Another way to look at the argument is to understand that students are young people after all, and over a third of undergraduates are between the ages of 17 and 21. A proportion of these young people have never lived away from home, or had any type of responsibility themselves, so to expect them to set up a future for themselves from day one is expecting too much. University can be a chance for students to make the wrong decisions, learn from their mistakes and spend way too much of their student loan – but does that mean we should exempt them from the harsh realities of adult life?

Students make the choice whether to attend university and in an ideal world, each and every student is on the course they want to take, studying subjects that inspire them and obtaining a degree they want to make a career out of.

When it comes to students writing their coursework, they can be prosecuted for plagiarism if they don’t reference correctly, or choose to steal another academic’s idea or work without permission. Therefore students should be held responsible for their actions, and that includes whether they choose actively set up their own future, or choose to spend university watching Jeremy Kyle and sleeping through morning lectures.



Career Quiz: What Degree Shall I Study?

Join the 75,000 students that have already found their future career by taking our short 60-second degree quiz. Find out what you're like and what you could do, by discovering your strengths, personality, what you're passionate about, and some jobs and degree subjects that may be perfect for you!

Take Uni Degree Quiz

Student Advice