Ever think about being a little more industrious and taking on a part-time job throughout the school year? Coming from a badger who has worked 2 (or MORE) jobs while juggling a full course load for the past 5 (ish) years, I can honestly say it’s no walk in the park. On the other hand, having a part time job has not only allowed me to reach my last semester of university debt free, but have extra money to spend on travelling with friends, owning a car and concert tickets. If this is something you’re considering, here are a few things you should know first…
The basic rule of thumb for university says that every hour of class/lecture/seminar/lab, there’s an equivalent 2-3 hours of studying. If you have five courses in a semester, that works out to around 45 hours of studying. Add in working 20 to 30 hours a week, plus your Netflix/YouTube addiction, and suddenly all of the time you used to spend sleeping has disappeared. Which leads in to my next point…
Knowing what readings you can go without reading, or deciding which assignment you need to spend more time on, OR forgoing your Friday night at Moose are all decisions that having a part time job force you to make. Time is precious, and deciding what you want to spend your time on will enable you to still get great grades while making a little money on the side. Plus, it makes the weekends that you DO make it to the bar that much more fun.
When you work a part time job, chances are that’s not the only thing you’ll have going on in your day – you’ll want to hit the gym, go to a group meeting, finish a reading and make it to your lecture all before trucking off to spend your night flipping burgers or waiting tables. Taking half an hour before you go to sleep to go over your schedule for the next day, get all the books you need to bring with you together and maybe even doing a little meal prep will make the next morning that much easier when you’re rushing out the door.
It may sound a little silly, but setting aside at least an hour of time just for you – to watch cat videos, bake brownies, hang out with your roommates – will ensure you don’t go crazy with the stress of having one foot in the adult world and the other in the academic world.
If you have a half-hour bus ride to get to your part time job, do a reading or catch up on emails while you’re commuting. It’s a simple way to get the most out of your time, and will free up space in your schedule when you get home and just want to go to sleep.
Extra Tip: if you’re able to, record your lectures and listen to them while commuting. 2 birds, one stone!
I know you’re really worried about what your grandma may or may not have commented on that picture of you from St. Patrick’s, but I promise it can wait. Clearing out some of the major millennial distractions – social media, Trivia Crack, Facetiming your roommates who are binge-watching House of Cards without you – will pay off in the long run. That is, unless you plan on being a trivia champion – then play as much Trivia Crack as you can cram into your day.
Yes, at times working a job while going to school will make you want to pull your hair and/or eyeballs out, but you have to remember why you chose this path. Not only will you have extra money in your pocket, you’re building a wealth of experience and time/stress management techniques that future employers will want to hire.
If you have any other tips or thoughts on working part time in University, leave them in the comments below!