How to balance having a job and studying at university

Trying to balance a job with a university lifestyle can be hard.

You need the money, but you also want to have the time to study and to live the sociable lifestyle you came to university for. However, there are solutions to this tricky balancing act. Here are our top tips for managing a part-time job whilst still smashing out your degree.

Flexibility is key

Having a job that’s flexible is the key to managing working and studying at the same time. At university, no week is the same and sometimes, unexpected things might pop up that you need to attend to. This is why you need to work somewhere that’s happy to adhere to your schedule, particularly during the holidays when you may want to go back to your hometown.

Although they’re not always suitable for someone looking for full-time work, zero-hour contracts tend to offer this kind of flexibility. Many students also choose to work for the university itself in student’s union bars and shops or at university open days as car parking attendants or tour guides. These types of jobs are great because they often offer flexible hours and good rates of pay.

Find something to suit your schedule

To keep on top of your studies, it’s always a good idea not to arrange to work when you’re supposed to be at university. Instead, maybe ask for shifts only at weekends or in the week when you have a day off. If your employer isn’t happy to comply with your uni timetable, it could be time to find another job as at the end of the day, your main priority is your degree.

Alternatively, if you don’t mind missing out on a few nights out, you could work in a bar or a restaurant and fund your student lifestyle without having to re-arrange your schedule in the day. This option comes with the extra advantage of more money from tips!

Make money online

There are lots of ways to make money online which often don’t involve as much time as a regular part-time job. For example, you could try online tutoring and teach school children in your chosen subject. The good thing about online tutoring is that you can choose what you charge, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own bedroom.

Another popular option that many students choose to earn a bit of extra cash is club repping. This involves working with nightclubs selling tickets for a commission, which is something most people do on their phones through social media. These types of jobs tend to come with the extra perks of discounted/free tickets as well!

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Plan your time efficiently

Making a plan of the week and noting downtimes you need to dedicate to both your part-time job and university commitments is crucial in order to keep on top of everything. Instead of stressing about where you need to be and when and missing university deadlines because you spent your time elsewhere, make a plan of your days and stick to it. This will make balancing a job and studying a lot easier.

In order to do this, write everything down in one place. This could be on the Apple calendar app, google calendar or more conventionally, in a physical diary. Writing things down is an excellent way of de-stressing and it allows you to see everything you’re doing that week in one place. It’s time to get more organised!

Don’t try to do too much at once!

It’s scarily easy to put too much on your plate at university, leaving little time to dedicate to yourself and what you’re interested in. If you’re in a position where you don’t necessarily need to have a part-time job and your schedule is busy as it is, don’t force yourself to get one just because you think you should. Although having a job may look good on your CV, completing your degree to a good level will look even better.

The most important thing to remember is that your studies and your university experience are of a higher priority than part-time work. You don’t want to look back at your time at university and feel like you mostly spent it at your job, so live a little and enjoy yourself! They say your years at university are the best years of your life for a reason.

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