uni & work and finding the balance

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Hey, guys!

I hope all is well

I thought I’d kick start this blog with something a little relevant to us all – being a super broke student and trying to make money so you’re…well not-so-broke! I mean, while being a student, apart from having to study and do all that boring essay stuff (just joking, I love essays who doesn’t..) we have loads of free time & of course, we need money to occupy those times too. OR you could just be like me and just want so spend your money entirely on food, either way, you need to make it somehow.

Whilst being a frontrunner, I usually have to fit 8 hours of work into the week, all while actually studying. Along with this, I also have the pleasure of running some after school clubs with some awesome kids a couple times a week and believe it or not, I seem to be coping pretty well with my workload but this hasn’t always been the case.

I used to work for the Apple Store, sometimes working up to 25 hours over the week (although I was on a 16-hour contract) and then being super exhausted when it came to studying and making it in for lectures. During my exam period, I calculated that I worked around 180 hours instead of being in full revision mode – luckily I came out with the grades that I wanted but that was after feeling exhausted in every single way before collapsing into a 5 month do-nothing-fest over summer.

Although I got through the hours I was given, I became mentally and physically exhausted in everything I did, I began missing lectures for the sheer fact that I was so tired from working so much and being unable to find the time to do weekly readings let alone 2,000-word essays. When it came around to studying and working on my assignments, I would be confined to doing so within a night, rather than pacing myself over several weeks and although I had a great income, my wellbeing and university work was suffering.

So my advice to you guys is, don’t let your job consume you! I know having a substantial income whilst being a student is great but if it starts affecting you mentally and physically, it’s probably best to have a think on whether it’s worth it.

What options are there for us?

University Schemes

If it’s absolutely necessary to have a job and you need some extra money, why not try working on campus or a frontrunner placement? The university understands that our degrees should come first and supports us by ensuring that we generally don’t work more than 8 hours a week, which makes a change to my average of 25 hours. Plus, the placement and other schemes in the university provide students with valuable experience that looks great on your transcript for future employers! Great hours + great experience = happy student

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Managing your hours

If that fails, it’s probably best to choose a job that doesn’t exceed around 8-16 hours a week at the very most, that way you’ll have time to focus on your uni work but most importantly your well-being. I literally suffered from exhaustion and was on bed rest over the Christmas holidays because I was working myself way too hard, please don’t be like me, put your wellness first! Money can always be made back, protect your health!

Student Finance & Budgeting

This is my last point and probably the most obvious of them all! The majority of us get student finance, but we alllll know we could probably be better with budgeting it. I once met a guy (let’s call him Simon) who blew through his first terms loan in one night because he thought everyone was ‘buying a couple rounds of drinks each’…..guys it was always ALWAYS his round. DONT BE A SIMON! I know not all of us want to live on a diet of super noodles and water, but sometimes tightening your belt on our SFE could save us a bit more time, money and effort!

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I hope this helps!

Monet x

 

(1) https://www.studentmoneysaver.co.uk/article/horrors-all-students-eventually-face/

(2) http://lakesidetheatre.org.uk/news/jobs-for-essex-students-frontrunner-positions-available-for-autumn-2016/

(3) http://www.onebroadsjourney.com/help-im-poor/

 

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