Job Hunt

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Working Through College

Being a college student can be a very stressful time. University doesn’t come cheap and for most, Bank of Dad officially closes on Debs day. For a lot of students, it is necessary to find a part-time job to get them college but working while studying doesn’t come without its pitfalls. Whether you’re one of the lucky few to find a job linked to your degree, or you’re passing your days working in your local shop, working through college can be hard but can benefit you after graduation. Here’s a handy list of the pros and cons of being a full-time student with a part-time job.

1. Income – One of the main benefits of working through college is the obvious perk of earning disposable income. A lot of students are forced to rent accommodation in order to go to college so a part-time job can ease the financial stress of supporting yourself. More cash to add to your ‘sesh’ fund or to snap up that new pair of shoes you spotted a few weeks ago. Earning your own money will force you to understand money management better and can ease you into the ‘real world’ of earning that you will be dropped into upon graduating.

2. Independence – No more begging your mam for twenty quid to stretch over three days. Part-time jobs give students a glimpse of working life and give us the independence to budget our own money and the opportunity to spend our own money on ourselves, be it travelling, socialising or a shopping spree every so often.
3. Experience – When looking for a graduate job, employers look for previous experience in a role with responsibility. Part-time jobs offer invaluable experience in handling cash, building interpersonal skills, managing conflict and so much more.
4. CV boost – Working through college shows initiative and enthusiasm, employers look for employees that will work hard and self-motivate. Working through college shows that you are willing to work hard and can handle responsibility.
1. Sacrificing your spare time – Employers are generally quite accommodating to their student employees and will try their best to help you out with shifts that suit you. One thing that’s important to remember is that you are sacrificing time that could be used to study, socialise or sleep. Make sure that you can afford to give those precious hours out of your week to work; class work should always take priority. If you take a job and find that you’re struggling to keep up, speak to a manager about reducing your hours.

2. Grades – While you might think that working won’t eat into your study time, it’s unrealistic to think that it won’t have some impact on your grades. Working too much can leave you tired and unmotivated to pick up a book when you come home from a long day on the job. Before agreeing to work certain hours put a study plan in place so that your grades don’t take the hit. Create a schedule that allocates study time and stick to it, it’s all about balancing work and college.

3. Stress – College related stress is one thing that we often forget to take into consideration when applying for jobs, working, even in a part-time role can add to this stress and leave you feeling burned out and add to anxiety. Juggling a job while being a full-time student isn’t easy, make sure to look after yourself mentally, physically and emotionally so that the pressure of balancing both along with finding time to socialise doesn’t cause you to crumble.

4. Reduces chances to get involved in college based activities – one of the most memorable and important aspects of college is getting involved in extracurricular activities such as clubs and societies. Committing to a job means that you won’t be able to enjoy everything that clubs and socs have to offer, it isn’t impossible to find a balance, you just have to get better at organising and allocating your time.

Being a student and working through college has its challenges but if you can make it work, you won’t regret juggling both. Top tip for those of you who have or are looking for a job while studying is to remember that college comes first, you will work for the rest of your life but your college experience only comes around once. Don’t waste your college years stressing over a job that you don’t like, want or need. Make time for work, but don’t let it consume you. At the end of the day, there’ll always be another opportunity.