When it comes to uni, you’re wondering how you’re supposed to manage your social life, get enough sleep, meet deadlines, revise, exercise, not run out of money and eat healthily.
Having had a part-time job myself whilst studying, I thought I’d give you some top tips on how to juggle working whilst studying (It’s finally time to update that CV on your laptop you’ve not opened since 2014).
#1 - Try to find a job on-campus or nearby to where you’re based
If you’re living on-campus, you have loads of opportunities right on your doorstep whether it’s working in The Coffee Room, Locos or being a Student Ambassador. If you’re working on-campus, you’ll find that you’re limited to 15-hours a week in term time. This is a good thing though because it means you’ve got some time to work but also lots of time to still focus on your studying. You’ll find that working on-campus is nice and flexible too.
If you’re a Student Ambassador, for example, you come forward for work that you want to do, and if you don’t want to do it or can’t do it, you don’t have to come forward for it. If you fancy venturing off-campus for work, what better place to start than Intu Uxbridge? Full of plenty of part-time retail roles, and only 10-mins on the bus, this is another perfect solution. A lot of these types of roles will require weekend-workers and evening-workers too which are perfect for students. There are also plenty of near-by supermarkets you can check-out for work (pardon the awful pun) including Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
It’s really important to keep your job as nearby as possible so you’re not wasting lots of time travelling to and from your workplace – that could be an extra 30-mins of sleep!
#2 – Limit the amount of hours you work
My first point leads me on perfectly to number two: remember with these off-campus roles, you’re not limited on hours so be sensible.
I found that when I was working, I chose a 9-5 role every Saturday – no evening work, no double weekend work. Saturday daytime I knew I had to block off for work, so I fitted in studying, socialising, eating, and doing my washing and all those other exciting adult shenanigans around the Saturday.
This is a really important one because if you load yourself up with too many hours, that worry I was talking about earlier is only going to get worse. Yes, more money = more cheesy chips but more money = more hours = less time for studying = not-amazing degree.
If you can find that perfect balance of a few hours a week (I’d say no more than 12-15), then you’ll have a nice amount of money coming in to completely justify that new outfit for a big night out or that upgrade to large at Domino’s.
#3 – Make yourself a weekly to-do list
My final top-tip sounds ultra geeky but my favourite way of juggling work (and everything else uni throws at you) whilst at uni was to create a weekly to-do list. By getting all creative with a to-do list, I can see what uni work I have in that week, what societies/extra-curricular stuff I have and anything else that needs to be done that week. This helps me to stay on top of everything and limits the chance of any incoming breakdowns. When I make a new list for a new week (coloured pens to make it look exciting are a must), I put in anything I know I definitely need to do, straight away.
So, when I was working, for example, I’d block out my entire Saturday for my job. I wouldn’t try to squidge anything else in on that day apart from napping, getting ready for a night out and pizza scoffing. Once I’d built in all my stuff I knew I had to do, I then slotted in all the other fun stuff and revision into my remaining free time and I found this worked really well. To-do lists aren’t for everyone, but if you haven’t tried one yet, definitely do – after all, uni is for trying new things, hey!?
So those are my three top-tips on how to juggle a part-time job whilst studying at university. I hope you’ve found them useful and you’re already thinking of updating your CV and getting down to the Job Shop/Uxbridge - good luck!