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Student employment detracts from studies?

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      31.01.2014 00:25
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      Multi-tasking is the way forward!

      So tonight I'm going to write my opinion on whether having a job affects your studies so whether you are at school, college, university etc. So here is my review:

      When I was at college, I only had a job at the weekend so it did not effect my studies in any way and I could then use my week-day wisely and spend at college rather than worrying about a job at the same time during the week.
      But it all changed when I went to university because there was a lot of hanging around, when you are student you tend to have no money and take out over-drafts all the time, but I wanted to avoid that so that I would not be in much debt than I was already in with my degree and student loans.
      I did not have to have a job during my time at university, but I chose to because I knew it would benefit me when I completed my degree and look good on a CV because it shows an employer that you can multi-task and able to handle two jobs at once. Another reason why I took a job on during my studies was because I was studying at a London university where rent and living costs are more expensive than other places, so the way to make my student loan last longer was to find extra income, which meant a job.
      Even though it took me a while to find a job (about six months) which I found through the university, which was being a waitress and regular events staff. So I got two jobs in one just about which was very handy! I also got the job at the start of my second year at uni, if any of you were wondering! In my first year, I did not really think about having a job much because I wanted to settle down, know how I can work a job around my studies, know the area I was living in, but I did look every now and again if there was any weekend jobs or jobs which you would only work at weekends and one day in the week. I eventually found one!
      The good thing about my job was that it was casual/temporary/part time work, but I treated it more like a part time job because I could work around my university hours which was the idea of my company, so if I had an exam or revision time, I could turn around and say 'my exam is that day' and you will have to work on another shift instead. One or two people did ask me 'was it going to effect my uni work' and to be honest it did not effect my work in any way, but there was maybe the odd time when it did, especially around Christmas when it is busy and they need extra staff, and also my assessments and exams were due around that time, but I used my time management wisely so that I could fit two jobs around each other without it effecting my university work because there is the phrase 'you can find another job, but university you only have one shot at it' because you are paying thousands for your degree.
      Luckily I had my job for my second and final year at uni, so it looks good on a CV that way that you can hold down a job for a long period of time, not like you will apply for a job and then leave at the end of the month or three months time you move onto something else.
      After my degree, I started applying for some proper part-time/full time work. Having a job at uni did help me in a way because it made finding employment slightly easier but you cannot guarantee that because I applied to a silly number of jobs before I ended up getting a job, and that was as a sales assistant in Jack Wills, which was great because I love the store and the brand so it was something I'd enjoy but sadly quit at the end of the month due to pay and hours (because I lived in London after uni as well, so I couldn't afford my rent)
      And even with a degree I'm struggling to find employment, sucks to be me right now.

      Anyway, if you are planning to get a job during your studies, personally the best option is to look for weekend work, part time work or casual work. Check at your college/university if they are doing job/recruitment fairs because they advertise jobs aimed for students, and that's how I got my job during my time at university.
      They are mainly hospitality, retail, call centres, care work and among others, or even jobs at the university it self!
      Some companies to try:

      Starbucks
      New Look
      Jack Wills
      McDonald's
      Bank Fashion
      Hollister
      Costa
      Cafe Nero
      Tesco
      Sainsbury's
      ASDA
      Next
      WH Smith
      Boots
      Superdrug
      Cinema - odeon, showcase etc.
      wetherspoons (pub and restaurant)
      Waitrose
      Nightclubs (Oceana, Fabric)
      Marks and Spencer
      Topshop
      River Island
      Shakeaway (best milkshakes ever!)
      Superdry

      Hand your CV out, ask in store or apply to their websites because you never know, you may find a job you love and will end up doing to the end of your time at university!

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      16.11.2012 15:49
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      There are things I feel very strongly about, higher education being one of them. I feel that if you are going to bother aiming for a degree, you should be putting your all into it. However employment during your student years can only be beneficial to a person, in my opinion. Employment is no more detrimental to a student than the constant partying and drinking that students are known for.

      I currently work part time hours, 5 days a week with 2 days at university and coursework on top of that. During my years as a working student, I've developed time management skills that I would not have had the chance to develop if it were not for my working schedule. As an unemployed student, I would have all the time in the world to get my coursework done, whereas I currently have to work that around my job.
      I'm also gaining experience in the working world whilst working towards my degree, something that is of great value to me. I'm constantly looking towards the future and thinking about graduate positions and future careers, wondering if my CV will be good enough for my dream position. If I'd spent 4 years doing nothing but studying and partying, I'd be incredibly worried that a possible employer would be questioning why I couldn't have held a part time job at nights and weekends. There are some students that are incredibly lucky to have their parents funding their student years, however although it seems like the worlds best idea at the time, those students tend to be the ones struggling to find a position at the end of their degree. They have no experience and haven't developed those crucial time management skills along with the other valuable skills that different jobs teach a person.

      I find it shocking that there are students I know, doing the same course as me that say they don't have the time to get a job, yet spend 3 or 4 nights a week out getting drunk. Spend that time working and you'll feel far more refreshed in the morning and far more proud of yourself at the end of the day.
      Now that isn't to say I don't go out and party or I don't enjoy myself. I live a very fulfilling life, I actually could not be happier with my life and the things I get to do, however I am of the opinion that a fulfilling life can only come from working for it. If I were to live off of my parents and let them pay for my holidays and partying whilst all I did was go to university a few hours a week and write some essays/reports etc, I'd feel a bit like a leech. The good things in my life are made 10x better knowing that I've worked for them and earned them.

      Along with feeling fulfilled, working 5 hours one night versus spending those hours getting drunk doesn't effect my abilities to do anything the next day. I wake up and can go ahead and carry on with studying or going to the gym etc, whereas spending the night getting drunk usually throws me off for a day or two afterwards. Alcohol really doesn't mix well with me and it takes me a day or two to really feel normal again - time that I can't quite sacrifice during these important years. A lot of people use the 3 core years of their degree to spend as much time as drunk as possible then stressing out during their final year because they have no idea how to deal with the workload. I can safely say that my work schedule and workload at the minute are preparing me for the workload in my final year. I'll be able to cut down my hours at work and use those towards studying while others will struggle to cut social time from their routine. I may sound like a bit of a bore and like I never get out, but my free time is always spent with friends/family/my boyfriend and I always have something to look forward to, rather than looking forward to another night out on the lash and then spending 4 days a week with a killer hangover.

      I would encourage every student out there to go ahead and look for a part time job, even just in a shop or a bar. The extra money at the end of the month is a huge bonus and you'll gain valuable experience and skills from just giving up a few hours a week. Go on, make your parents proud!

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        24.08.2011 00:06
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        I thoroughly recommend it!

        I have worked since I was 16, initially I only worked as a saturday girl while I was studying for my A Levels. I onlt worked about 8 hours a week mainly to pay for extra little things I wanted like clothes and nights out with my friends then when I was 17 driving lessons and finally a car. I was brought up by my mum and although she worked full time she was in no position to support me.

        When I was in school as I only worked 1 day a week my studies never suffered I had plenty of time for homework and coursework in the evenings after school and during free periods. I manged to get two A grades and a B in my A Levels and decided to go to University.

        By this point I had upped my hours in work and had a new part time contract, the main reason I worked more was that between school and the first year at Uni there was a big gap of about 12 weeks and I often get bored without things to do. When I started Uni in the October I was on a 16 hour contract which worked out at two full days. Luckily I had a wednesday off and the other day I worked was a saturday. At first I managed to survive on student loans and the modest amount I earnt working. However as time progressed University became more expensive. I had to drive back and forth everyday as I lived at home and unfortunately my car had reached the end of it's life, this meant I had to get a car on finance as I had no other option, this coupled with the fact that my insurance was crippling because I was young as well as running costs meant I had to increase my hours at work. I eventually ended up working 32 hours in the second and third year of Uni, which was practically full time I worked 4 days a week and managed to get my all my lectures over the two days. I was a little worried as I thought I would struggle as they recommend you study for a set amount of hours outside work. I was studying Law too which was really demanding and there was a lot of reading and coursework involved. Luckily I was really motivated, I took my Uni work into work with me and in my lunch hour I was on my laptop typing away. I still had a really good social life and regularly went out on a friday and a saturday.

        I went on to graduate with a 2:1, I do in hindsight wonder if I could have got a 1st if I had more time to work but I think it is all about balance, you need to be a really motivated person to juggle the two things at once. On the plus side my job gave me some good experience I had worked in the same place for 6 years and I do belive this gave me an advantage when I eventually started applying for graduate rolls. I know people on my course who never worked and failed the course or dropped out. Unfortunately some people don't have the choice and need to work to support themselves I think that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to if you really want it!

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        11.12.2010 20:50
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        Party is over

        60% of the pop acts that dominated the charts this year went to public school, an extraordinary statistic, up from just 1% on 30 years ago. Music, the traditional expression of the working-class, is now just another perfunctory profession for the rich, rows and rows of indie kids and troubadours strumming out that endless and erroneous white-collar anxiety, presumably a sadness born out of paying student and tuition fees that cut into their beer money. That anger, of course, has been played out of late to the lead up to the big vote in parliament, the vote to increase tuition fees narrowly passed, London kicking of soon after as they returned to the shires for Christmas with mummy and daddy. Students only seem to protest in term time. No way would they let this encroach with hols!

        The reality of the debt for future students is a bill on their pay packet they will hardly notice. It will be around £15 a month for the average paid graduate, the same cost most students pay per month for their fancy mobile phones while they are at uni. This protest is not just about the worry of carrying student debt but the future ruling classes finally waking up to their responsibilities that they are indeed the biggest mobilised protest weapon we have in the country to speak on our behalf and so have. But this is also about students feeling rather narked about having to work in the future during term time as uni was mostly about having fun.

        The police have got some stick over the way they have handled this but once Millbank was wrecked they had no other choice but to deploy normal kettling and riot control methods they would use at the football or any other potentially violent march. The order was given to hit middle-class kid with extendable battons and hope the law suits are not too high. If we have reached the point where police are sued for using any sort of riot control then anarchy will win out. The bad boys from south London couldn't resist joined the white working-class anarchist as 'muscle' to kick it off and if you brick Prince Charles car then you're going to get attention. It's not true that Camilla was hit full in the face with a lump of concrete.

        The rowdy youngsters were there because the Tories have cut EMA, the Education Maintenance Allowance, an effective £30 bribe to keep kids in higher education and so off the streets. You got the money paid into yours or your parents bank account purely on regular attendance to you're A-Level and college course, which did see a big increase of punctuality and attendance. If you didn't get signed in to class you didn't get your money for the weekend booze and fags, a rather clever incentive by Blair to make it look like the kids wanted to learn. Watching the rioting chavs shouting at the camera that if they didn't get their EMA they would go back to mugging and drugs could only make you chuckle. It was a no-brainer for the posh kids that tended to do the A-Levels and college courses, the EMA reason enough not to do part-time or Saturday jobs and mum and dad didn't have to worry about their kids asking for cash to go out at the weekends.

        But, of course, those South London gang land lads have no incentive to go into higher education when they read statistics like the one that points out no black people were admitted to Oxbridge last year from 10,435 places, and one college at Oxford had not admitted a black student for 7 years! If the young black and chav underclass are joining forces with the white middle-class to riot then the country has a serious problem. It takes a lot to see Gemima holding hands with Lesroy.

        David Lammy, the black MP for Tottenham, was the one who made the point on this appalling racism at Oxbridge, suggesting some places in the top Russell Group universities should be based on ethnicity not ability in the future, a controversial move towards the US system of affirmative action. But if Lammy, a well spoken graduate himself, is an example of smart black guys not going to Oxbridge (he went to the University of London) then best not look at his Celebrity Mastermind performance as evidence. He scored a feeble 13 over the two rounds, including answers like Henry the 8th succeeded Henry the 7th to the throne; that the surname of Nobel Prize Winners Marianne and Pierre was Antoinette, and not Curie, and my favourite that Versailles is a state prison, not the famous palace it is. What Lammy and most outspoken black commentators never touch in as that black kids are just as smart as white kids in school but choose not to learn.

        So, if you are going into higher education and were encouraged not to work by claiming EMA, and now you will also have that huge debt dumped upon you, is it time to work during study time? In America it's the norm to work at college, as it is parent's to start saving for the college fund when their kids are very young, kids doing what they have to get through study. The top Ivy League colleges there charge an extortionate amount to educate. One suspect's Oxbridge will follow their model now the door is a jar. American parents take out all manner of savings accounts and insurance policies to make sure they can afford college whereas British parents leave it late. In Britain there is certain arrogance in the middle-class of entitlement to higher education, hence the riots. Only one-in-three British student's work during course time and its left to the parents to pick up the bulk of the bill for living costs, the bill that is the real reason why working-class kids tend not to go to university. At Oxbridge you are told not to work during course time so you concentrate on your work.

        London student rents are £100 per year minimum and there's little chance of low income mums or students finding that cash, which means the middle-class always have the luxury of the three year piss up social degree doing drama at Manchester etc. As a country we don't really need the amount of graduates we have and half of them that do graduate will not work in careers related to that degree. The expansion under Labour was selling aspiration for votes by getting more kids in college, just as they were buying votes from the poor by increasing benefits. Now both the unemployed and students will have to move towards work or face financial sanctions if they don't.

        The Liberal Democrats, of course, are doomed and the students clearly will hold that grudge and will vote out most of them at the coming local and national elections. Clegg and co toured the universities with this silly pledge not to increase fees, knowing full well they would never get power and so easy soft votes from likewise promises. On that basis they could say pretty much anything they wanted to, to get votes, which they did. It was a clear demonstration of the pitfalls of power and the reality of the decisions you have to take when you do get power, the coalition just too much for them.

        The reality is that with the nine grand cap all students and universities are going to have to face that maximum charge, especially as arts and humanities centred universities are having their teaching budget slashed by up to 80%, meaning the only way to recover that funding is through the full charge on British students and chasing lucrative foreign students. It will certainly be the death of the social degree as only the rich will pay 27 grand to study media studies, meaning a massive reduction of students in those soft subjects and so the end of them. The middle-class will always dominate the classic subjects like English, maths and the sciences, and with the 5 A-Star minimum sure to come into get into those universities, they will once again be full of posh kids and foreign dictators sons, the way the Tories want it. 60% of the current front bench in the Commons went to public school and Oxbridge and 37% of all MP's did. There are more people from the London borough of Richmond at Oxbridge today than the whole of Scotland and Wales students there put together.

        I stayed in Denton, Texas in the US on one of my trips in the 80s and the kids did all manner of jobs to pay through college. A few sold pot on campus whilst the pretty girls danced in clubs and waited table to make up their money. Its well know the prettier college girls go much further in clubs to make the big bucks so to run cars at college and at a strip club we went to it was nearly all girls from Texas University that had the greenbacks tucked in their knickers. It's a big earn there with the tipping system and even barmen can clear one hundred dollars a night in tips when it's busy. Over there people are used to taking all manner of jobs to make ends meet and when your social security money runs out its amazing how many people suddenly find jobs when the government cash dries up.

        There are cases of posh girls dancing on tables in bars in Britain to pay there way through college but I expect a massive increase in that type of employment now education is to be privatised. The students may not like having to pay for their courses but their counter-argument that the workers should pay for their three years of fun during these austerity measures is no longer going to wash. The only downside of working during course time is that group are the most likely to drop out of college or get a lower class of degree. But as most three year course involve about six months actual study do we really care anymore?

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          21.06.2009 17:17
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          Worth a go at the time but in hindsight not all that clever

          It's been almost 10 years since I graduated from University, at the time I had big ambitions and ideas for my future and swore to myself I would never take a desk job. I was too good for that and besides I was creative, a desk job would surely be too rigid a regime for me, wouldn't it?

          I read art & design and design studies in London (the London Guildhall University now known as the London Metropolitan in Whitechapel), with photography being my particular interest. It was a full time course though I had lectures and lessons to attend only 2.5 days each week, the rest of the time was left free for us to study in private, at least it was meant to be.

          Back then we didn't have to pay tuition fees though financially live was still tough at times. I couldn't afford to move out of my parents place and live in London closer to Uni so had to stay and commute in every day which took a good hour most of the time on the tube and bus. I was eligible for a grant and also a student loan at the time which did help towards my studying costs but at times it never seemed quite enough, especially towards the end of term. (back then budgeting never was one of my strong points)

          I wondered if taking a part time job might be the answer? my mind was made up for me when I spotted an advert posted on the noticeboard outside one of the lecture halls for a vacancy at a picture library, seeing as I was studying photography at the time this job seemed perfect for me, especially seeing as it paid more than the minimum wage per hour.

          I was offered the job on the spot when I went to be interviewed, I was to work two days per week and agreed to put extra hours in during holidays. I was overjoyed when I worked out the pay I would be getting. I wouldn't have to touch my student loan and could afford all the expensive little extras that were so essential to my course.

          I stayed in the job for just over 6 months, by then I decided the hassle of getting up and sitting at a boring desk job for two days per week while I could have been studying not worth it. I missed out on a lot study time and my class mates were unhappy at me not being able to make important meetings about projects claiming I had my priorities all wrong. They were right, I did. I was too quick to think about money instead of my studies.

          I passed my course but only just, earning a 3rd class degree. I was dissapointted but knew deep down it was only what I deserved, more effort and less time working would have given me a better result I'm sure.

          It's too late now of course to change things but I do regret a little taking on that job towards the end of my course. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else and suggest a weekend only job or bar work perhaps instead.

          Student employment for me was a double edged sword, a great way to pay your way through uni/college but a potential barrier to success.

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            27.08.2008 16:45
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            We should pay our students to study not force them out to work while they are studying

            I am remembering when my eldest son went to university. Fortunately for him, and us, it was just before New Labour came into power and decided to ensure that all university students graduated with debts. It was equally fortunate that my son's civil engineering course was offered locally which meant that he could keep his part-time job. He did not have to get into debt because we took care of most of his day-to-day living needs and his halls were in easy walking distance of his place of work. He came home for as many meals as he could so his expenses were kept to a minimum.

            He still wanted to live in halls, which was recommended to help him become a part of the university's social life, which I know is as important as the studies!

            He hated it all for about two days and then suddenly realised how fantastic it all was and spent the rest of his time very happy there.

            I can see how difficult and distracting it must be to those students whose universities are far from home; they cannot rely on a regular job because they have the term holidays to think about, yet they need as much of an income as they can get to avoid debt, or at least to minimise the debt levels.

            I feel very sorry for today's students. They are expected to leave with a great deal of debt around their necks just at the time when they don't need it. I think all education should be completely free in this country; after all, when graduates find themselves in the jobs for which they have studied and trained, they pay more tax than most and this should be how their education is paid for. The taxman does very well out of them in later years yet expects them to pay up front when they have no real income.


            In some circumstances, working while studying for a degree can be very distracting. Some students can cope with it and some can't. They should be given enough to live on so that they can concentrate on their studies and not have to worry about where their next penny is coming from. The costs of studying are very high - all the required books these days are very expensives as are any specialised materials needed. We should be helping students to study with the least amount of worry - after all, they are the ones who will be taking care of us when we are older.

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              16.08.2008 19:11
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              If you can give it a go, it makes your personal achievement greater

              If you get the choice of job and the employer right what's the problem. We need to get with the times, unfortunately gone are the days of sitting around and waiting for your college grant to come through each term. Yes student employment can detract from studies, but the key thing to remember is that the more you learn the experience you would gain to take to the next job. Books aren't everything if we just learn how to sometimes manage our time, make appropriate plans so that we can accommodate learning and earning the right results will come. Better still some old fashioned graft is a staple diet for the future, surely you'd respect the things that you have, find out at an earlier stage the things you enjoy doing to enhance rather than detract you from your studies. Feel that those who manage to combine work with studies are more focused and those who can but choose not to are missing out. This is the age of skills no matter how we percieve them and books.

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                23.08.2007 12:35
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                Having a job does detract from studies, but it's not always unavoidable

                Does student employment detract from studies? I think the obvious answer here is - yes of course! It may not significantly affect results, and it may not be entirely noticeable in all cases, but if you are working there is less time for you to study. Obviously students aren’t studying all the time, and I’m sure they do have 20 odd hours spare a week, so why not spend it in a job. But, whilst that time might be spent in the pub with friends, or watching trashy TV, or going to parties students are still going to want to do those things and are unlikely to give all that up to go work.

                I have a part time job in a bar, it’s only 20/30 hours a week, but then add to that the time spent sleeping or feeling rough because you’ve been working until 3am and then had to get home, it adds up to a little bit more. I love my job, and it keeps me at university and with food to eat, so I’m not moaning about having a job, but I do think it detracts from studies. Christmas time is busy in bars and so a lot of the staff were working 12/16 hour shifts with a 7 hour gap before starting work again. Believe me, after you’ve done that for a month, you get very tired! Needless to say there wasn’t a lot of time left to revise for my January exams. It was nice having the money and not having to worry about not being able to pay rent etc. but when the exams came round I felt so unprepared.

                I’m sure students who have jobs don’t take them up as a hobby, but do actually need some more money. So whilst working may detract from studies, not working would detract from them more as you would have to drop out or become homeless! I’m not exaggerating either, I know quite a few people who have left university because they can’t keep up with rent payments so have nowhere to live, or are just in so much debt it’s not worth the hassle. Also, working a Saturday job for say eight hours a week will pay you maybe £30 which isn’t going to pay the gas bill. I’ve also come to the conclusion that people who will actually employ students realise we are desperate for money and so threaten to sack you or give you an hours work a week if you don’t do all the extra hours. Also, in my job, you have to do an extra hours UNPAID work (at 3am) after every shift cleaning up, because the managers claim they can clean the place in 15 minutes, which I have never seen happen. Oh the joys of student jobs!!! All that said, I do love my job.

                Also, if you are lucky enough to come from a rich/ well off home and have gone through life never needing a job, you will arrive at university to be told you really should get a job as no employer in their right mind will take you on if you have had no work experience. Also, by the way, it would put you above the rest if you did some volunteer work too.

                I think it’s just a fact of student life, if you have a job it will detract from your studies, but at least you’ll come out with a degree at the end of it all (hopefully!). Also with the rise in tuition fees, and therefore a rise in student loans and debt, I’m guessing that more students will need jobs to help fund themselves, and therefore it may detract from your studies, but also half the students will have been working and not focusing 100% on studies so it’s not a huge problem really.

                There is the slight snag of having to resit a year as you failed because you didn’t turn up to exams because your next lot of rent was due and you really really needed the money so spent the past few weeks working! But that’s life! If you’re reading this and are extremely wealthy, I’m sure a gift would be gratefully received by some poor student… only joking! Seriously though, if you were doing anything for a 20 hours a week, say trampolining, it would detract from your studies, if only because it’s taking 20 hours (plus travelling etc.) out of your week that could be spent doing other things.

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                  07.08.2006 22:31
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                  Student jobs can be beneficial....or detrimental.

                  According to MORI’s Student Experience Report 2006, 41% of British university students have a paid job during term time. I find this a surprisingly low figure, given that (according to the same survey) over half of students are “experiencing some degree of difficulty” in keeping up with their financial commitments, two thirds are in debt and 6% are “seriously falling behind” with their bills. Going to university is an expensive business; the current average level of debt for graduating students is in excess of £12,000 and has been predicted to pass the £30,000 mark by the year 2010. What I find even more shocking is that nearly 1,000 students had to declare themselves bankrupt in 2005. While around 20% of students save money by living at home during their courses, for many people this simply is not an option, due to living in rural areas or the range of courses available within commuting distance. In short, I would expect the number of students seeking part-time employment to rise over the coming years.

                  When I started out as an undergraduate back in 1997, things weren’t quite so bleak as this. It was shortly after the Labour government had swept to power and announced that there would be a change in the way we paid for higher education, from the old system of Local Education Authority (LEA) student grants, to a new system of Student Loan Company student loans and tuition fees. Almost overnight, going to university was going to be a far more expensive affair. However, protests over the suddenness of this change prompted Labour to back down and delay the full spectrum of changes until the following academic year, starting autumn 1998. This left me in the “guinea pig” year; I had a student grant (but not as big as the full grants received under the old system) and a student loan (but not as big as the full loans that were to start in 1998), but no tuition fees. This effectively meant that my three-year course was around £5,000 cheaper for me to do in 1997 than if I had been a year younger and starting in 1998. This was of course a huge advantage over people starting university in the following years, but I still took work where I could get it.

                  As an archaeology student, it was a course requirement that I spend at least 3 weeks of my summer break on fieldwork, which prevented any of us on the course from getting a regular summer job, as well as costing money to get your excavation kit, travel to and from the site, and actually live whilst there. I did a mixture of casual holiday work (working as a poll clerk for elections and joining temping agencies), and one or two evenings a week during term time as a student librarian in my college library during this time. This was enough to see me through my undergrad years without too much trouble, and only working a small number of hours a week during term time didn’t cause any problems to my studies – in fact, I found it beneficial in allowing me to get out and have a break from my coursework, and in meeting new people. I was very shy when I first left home for university, and this work helped to build up my confidence. The money was nice too!

                  When I became a postgraduate student, things changed. Despite taking a year out after graduation to specifically earn money to pay for my course, the pressures were different – I now had to pay tuition fees, didn’t have the long holidays that I had previously used to earn money, and the workload from my course was a lot more demanding. However, a new opportunity arose: as a postgraduate, I was now eligible to invigilate (supervise) undergrad exams, and this work paid a generous £8 an hour and was available three times a year. By taking on this work and using my savings I scraped through my MA year; again I felt working a small number of hours in addition to my study wasn’t a detriment to my coursework and was beneficial beyond the pay cheque I got at the end of it. Invigilation is responsible work and I think it can only have enhanced my CV at this point. The fact that these periods, although intensive, took place only in three relatively short episodes each year prevented me from getting too tired or falling behind with my study.

                  I went immediately from an MA into a PhD, and for three years I experienced the bliss of having a maintenance grant – this time one big enough to just about live on, although I didn’t stop doing the invigilation work. In 2004 I also worked two days a week from Easter to October as a costumed interpreter at Beamish Open Air Museum. This was a very intensive period for me; a PhD is gruelling enough without fitting in a part-time job, and it effectively meant that I was doing little but work for this period, having no days off on many weeks. Many people (my research supervisor included!) thought I was a bit crackers for even attempting this, but despite the exhaustion I regularly felt, this was also one of the most enjoyable periods of the last few years for me – I loved the job, and as my goal was to break into museum work when I graduated, then this provided invaluable work experience for me. I made some good friends working as an interpreter, learned a lot, and made one or two contacts that I hope will serve me well in the future. While looking back on this time I believe that it may have delayed my finishing my PhD by a small amount of time (certainly no more than one or two months), the skills I learned and the people I met outweighed this – a PhD can be very lonely, and this job really helped balance that out and keep me sane. Besides, a PhD has no fixed deadline as such, just that it should take you “between 3 and 4 years” to complete. Mine took 3.5 even with any delay working in this job may have caused, so it was no great worry in the end.

                  When my grant ran out in September 2005, I took a job at my local Odeon, staying there for 6 months. This was also a very intensive period, but far less enjoyable. As well as keeping broadly office hours with my research, I was working an awful lot at the cinema, starting out at around a fairly comfortable 16 to 18 hours a week, but escalating later on as staff numbers fell and I became more experienced. In the last couple of months at the Odeon I was doing 22-24 hours most weeks, and a couple of time this rose to 26 hours. This meant I was working 50 or 60 hour weeks. For those of you working full-time 9-5, imagine finishing your day job on a Friday, then going on to another for 6pm and staying there until midnight, working all of your weekends and then going back to your day job on Monday morning. On Saturday and Sunday, I usually worked 10 or 11 hour shifts (with no extra pay for it being Sunday, mind). By Monday morning I didn’t know whether I was coming or going! While this job did enable me to pay my rent and feed myself for 6 months, I was tired and miserable for a lot of the time and I don’t believe I learned much in the way of new skills – unless you count picking up rubbish and using a popcorn machine to be valuable life experiences. I think this certainly did have a negative effect on my studies. I was at a crucial point, writing up and editing my thesis and preparing to be examined, and really needed to give it my undivided attention. My part-time job prevented this. I did get my thesis submitted and pass my examination first time – which amazed me – but I was on the verge of making myself ill with the amount of work I was doing. Having said this, missing my rent payments wouldn’t have helped much in this endeavour either…

                  I have had many different experiences of working and studying at the same time. Do I think that having a part-time job detracts from studies? From my experience, I would have to say that this depends on many factors, not least the willingness of the student to work hard. Also important are the number of hours done in your part-time job, how much you enjoy the job, and how much other benefit (such as making friends and learning new skills) you get from the post. If you find a job that you do enjoy doing and which doesn’t take more than around 16 hours a week, then your studies should survive. If you are unhappy in your job or working too many hours, then it is clear than studies will be affected – and maybe even your health. But as long as going to university carries on getting more and more expensive, then this is a choice that many students will be faced with, and not all will be lucky enough to find work they can enjoy.

                  Recommended – If you enjoy your job; If it is keeping you in college; If you are learning new skills and/or enhancing your CV.

                  Not recommended – If it is affecting your health, If you are doing too many hours to cope with; If you are too tired to learn properly.


                  (P.S. All these jobs have paid off in the end, whatever they did to my social life as a student. I started full time work the Monday following my final exam, and have far lower levels of debt than most of my peers - almost none, in fact. There aren't many people who have spent 7.5 years at university who can say that!)

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                    20.07.2006 18:54
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                    It's no easy life you know!

                    I am a mature student who has worked since leaving school at 16, I took a year off working after having both my children and last year decided that the dead end jobs I was taking weren't taxing my brain or fulfilling me in any way and I wanted to change that.

                    I was 31 yrs old and deciding to go back to college to train to be a nursery nurse for 2 years was a big big step for me, not only mentally but financially.

                    I have 2 young children of 5 and 8 yrs old, both of whom are at primary school. I had to arrange after school care for them, which my bursary payments take care of whilst I am in college! (That and my travel expenses and college fees only) I didn't get any living expenses for my first year as I remained on Income Support, living on a pittance per week.

                    As a single parent it was difficult for me to make this decision but it was not one I took lightly. I weighed up all the pro's and cons and knew it would be difficult financially, but have made cut backs elsewhere to enable me to do this, and hopefully qualify for a job I know I love.

                    As for getting a job whilst studying(which of course is the point of this review) it is quite simply impossible for me to be able to this, for a number of reasons.

                    1. My college course meant last year I was in college 2 full days per week and 1 half day, but I also had to go to my work placement for 2 full days per week too, leaving me 1 morning per week in which I had to use for studying and for any appointments etc.

                    2. The childcare I had my children placed in after school closed at 6pm, they picked my children from school at 3pm and I finished college at 4pm meaning I usually picked them up around 4:30pm every day. If anyone knows of any job which is willing to pay big bucks for someone working 1 hour per day please let me know!

                    3. If I did work at night or weekends then my children would never see me, I'd end up paying all my wages to the childcare costs.

                    4. If I did work during this time and wanted to spend time with my children as well then I would never get time to study...as it is I study when my children go to sleep at night and in my lunch breaks!

                    So those are my reasons for not being able to work whilst studying.....it's not that I don't want to work. It's that I can't and I am fed up with some people saying all students are lazy, scroungers who sponge off the state! Some of us really haven't got much choice if we want to get our education!

                    This year I am coming off benefits as I am not allowed to stay on them for an HNC, instead I have to get into £4,300 of debt in order to survive.

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                      18.07.2006 03:20
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                      more work results in lower quality

                      I am currently a student in my second year of university and during term time I do not work. Each term I recieve a loan (not a grant) to the value of £1030, this may seem a lot but after a quick glance at the cost of attending uni it is very little. Each term I must pay around £800 accommodation and around £400 tuition fees whic amounts to £1200 nearly £200 more than my loan, on top of this there are living expenses making me very short of money each term.

                      My timetabled lecture slots last term amounted to 14 hours per week which may have left time for working to help cover some of my financial shortfalls however for evey classroom hour you are expected to put in several hours personal study (some lecturers recommend 5 hours) so when taking this into account working a job would cut into the times at which i would be able to study and probably leave me too tired to study thus resulting in a lower grade.

                      There is also the arguement however that by working the student may be able to gain better equipment for which to study, and more text books. Healthier eating is often not the cheapest but by working better nutrition may be achieved leading to better concentration and possibly a better degree.

                      Full time students are called such a thing as that is what they are, it is just the majority of study should be self imposed. Expecting someone who already has one full time job, so to speak, to also work another job seems slightly unfair to me and I would therefore argue that larger loans may be an idea that may allow students to afford university whilst getting good grades.

                      Working during term time I believe would put to much strain on the pupil and in my opinion lead to lower marks, however students have long hollidays (I am currently off for over four months) which presents a lot of oppurtunity for making money, which will aid in study, without impacting on the students ability to concentrate on studies. There is the issue that many companies do not wish to hire students, this has made it impossible for me to find work this summer, making the financialsituation very uinworkable.

                      In conclusion I believe students who work during term time will probably be more likely to achieve thier full potential whilst those that work only during holiday time will have a better chance to suceed.

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                        09.11.2005 11:55
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                        Low-paid jobs and generally bad conditions.

                        I'd always hoped that when I started Uni I wouldn't have to work, but it soon became clear that in a world where student grants are no longer available, it was inevitable that I was going to have to find a job. I'm a Scottish student, so my tuition fees are paid by SAAS for now, but I have to pay a Graduate Endowment Fee when I graduate which amounts to a little over two grand, and of course, I have to have money set aside to pay for books and all those other sort of studenty needs.

                        Luckilly, my parents are happy to keep me at home and I travel in and out to Uni every day, because I think it would have been almost impossible for me to afford to move into a flat in the city. As it is, my travel expenses cost me £20 per week and books can easily cost well over £100 a year. Of course, pens and pencils, notepads and folders all add up, too and putting aside and extra money I do have towards my Graduate Endowment Fee all but eats up my wages.

                        I'm in 3rd year now and my social life pretty much is pushed aside during term time because when I'm not at Uni or doing Uni work, I usually have to make time for work before I make time for relaxing or seeing friends.

                        To make it worse, most of the student jobs going around are notoriously low-earners. My first job was in a shop and I started there a few months before I started Uni. I was only 17 at the time and was only paid £3 an hour, which only went up to £3.60 an hour when I turned 18, and for those wages I had to endure relatively bad conditions. I had to do a lot of heavy lifting and even 3 years on, my back still gives me problems at times, and I reckon it was probably this job that done it in in the first place. I was only allowed a maximum of 4 Saturday shifts off a year and I happened to be unlucky enough to have 2 Saturday exams and 2 mandatory fieldtrips (which ran on a Saturday) scheduled for 1st year, so my 4 holidays were all used up for Uni stuff, but I was forced to endure the job for 18 months simply because there was nothing else going that was any better.

                        Other student jobs are extremely unflexible. They either only have a few hours a week available for you to work, want you to work unsociable hours or want you to drop everything and run into work whenever they phone you. Obviously this situation isn't always ideal when you could have an essay or exams hanging over your head that you need to work towards.

                        People often say that working while at Uni gives students experience of the working environment, which is true to an extent, but let's face it, most students are forced to work away in low-paid shop work or the like and would certainly hope not to have to continue working in that environment when they graduate.

                        The fact of the matter is, if you are a full-time student who has to work, your grades are inevitably going to suffer. The general trend among my friends at Uni is that those who don't have to work, or only have to work through the holidays do very well, while those that have to work lag behind a little, and those that have to work a lot almost come to a complete standstill. I've even had friends who have taken days or sometimes even a whole week off of Uni at one time because they've been offered shifts and don't want to miss out on the chance to earn some money that'll help them pay the rent or buy their books.

                        I've been lucky enough to get a good balance and saturate myself with shifts. I usually manage to get good grades, but I also have to work at least once a week and I have no doubt that if I didn't have to work at all and had that extra time, my Uni work would improve.

                        I often find myself wondering if Uni has been worth it. It has definately been the best years of my life and I enjoy it, but it has cost me a lot in the way of money, stress and time. It will be a relief when I graduate and no longer have to juggle University with work while trying to fit in other committments and time for my social life as well.

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                          28.07.2004 17:41
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                          Difficult one, this? Well, I think so anyway, but as I am a student at the moment I do feel that I?m in a perfect position to ponder this question. After all, when it comes right down to it, anything that takes time away from actually studying must detract from studies. However, I can honestly say that I don?t know any students who study constantly in all of their free time! So surely spending some free time doing something constructive like earning money, rather than getting an extra long lie in or going home for the weekend is a reasonable trade off, isn?t it? I can?t decide, so I?m going to examine the arguments for and against to see if I can come up with a conclusion by the end of this opinion! We?ve already examined the fact that students don?t spend ALL of their free time studying (nor am I suggesting for one moment that they should) so slotting some time for work into their spare time should be reasonably easy. However, good organisational and time management skills are essential if you?re going to successfully juggle work with your studies. I honestly believe that a student can work part time hours relatively easily if his or her course is not TOO demanding. However, I?m looking at this from the point of view of a Creative Writing student! We are the real lazybones of the University world, we only actually have lectures for a few hours a week, normally less than ten. We can also do our coursework absolutely anywhere, all we need is a notepad and a pen, or a book to read, and we?re away. Fitting in a few hours work around this type of course is very easy. However, for those students with more demanding lectures (and students on a lot of courses spend a full working week in lectures, every week) then working on top of this could present real problems. Yes, they could work evenings, say in
                          a bar for example, or weekends in a supermarket perhaps. But then they?re left with a seriously diminished amount of free time ? and the inevitable toss up between spending this sacred spare time studying, or relaxing with friends. I know what I?d prefer to do? Having said that, for some students the choice between working and not working just isn?t an option. Students loans, in most cases, barely cover the rent and (very) basic living expenses. For those students who?s family or spouse are able to support them, they have the luxury of choice! Personally, I would prefer not to work during term time? Well, to be honest I?d prefer not to work at all, but needs must! I?m in a very lucky position, as my husband is able to support me whilst I?m at Uni, so I don?t really HAVE to work. However, if we want any kind of luxury in our life, then I have to bring some money into the household, as hubbies wages aren?t sufficient to pay for things like holidays, for example. Still, I recognise that I am lucky, for a lot of students their families either aren?t in a position to support them, or choose not to, leaving them in the unenviable position of getting a job or literally starving. Of course, in the South jobs are plentiful and employers have learnt to be flexible around student timetables, minimising the effect that employment has on study. But what of the student who can?t get a job, or can only get a job on minimum wage so has to work all the hours God sends just to have enough to live on? The ?Young Ones? image that most people still have of drunken, lazy students scrounging off the state and not bothering to attend more than one lecture a week are so out of date that it?s laughable. Nowadays, actual grants are only available to students suffering real hardship, and even then they have to be applied for and aren?t always g
                          iven. Most students have to take out loans to study, and come away from University at least £10,000 in debt. With the introduction of course fees, students like myself who are supported by a spouse or parents with a reasonable wage have to pay course fees of up to £1,125 per year (for 2003/2004). So as you can imagine, the arguments for not getting a job during the University year are easily diminished against the mounting debt accrued whilst at Uni. I?m old enough to remember the student demonstrations of the eighties (I?m not even going to mention the poll tax!) Those were the days when students stood up and shouted about what they believed in. I wonder what the students of the 80?s would?ve thought about today?s University system? Actually, the students of the 80?s are probably the ones who implemented student loans and course fees in the first place! Today?s student is less anarchic and more business like than their 80?s predecessor. Perhaps that?s why they?re more likely to be organised enough to cope admirably with combining work and study. However, working and studying requires discipline and self-motivation. I know of students who have skipped lessons to work, when they haven?t been able to rearrange a shift, which kind of defeats the object in my opinion. Juggling study, work and entertainment can also be incredibly stressful ? especially as most students are fresh out of college or sixth form and aren?t used to living away from the parental home, never mind taking on so much responsibility. However, there are some part-time students on my course who work full time then study part time in the evenings. They are all doing very, very well and achieve consistently good marks. If they can juggle work and study so effectively, I don?t see why full time students couldn?t work part time too. Then, of course, a student could just work full t
                          ime during the holidays, thus saving enough money to live on during term time. Most Uni?s nowadays work on two semesters a year, of around 16 weeks each. This still leaves a student with a minimum of 20 weeks a year where they can work without affecting their studies at all? Also, students are consistently achieving higher grades in greater percentages, year upon year, despite many of them having to work and study too? Though there is an argument that the grading system has been ?dumbed down?. So, after looking at the arguments for and against, I now have to come up with a conclusion? Does student employment detract from studies? You know what, I honestly believe that it does, especially in the final, crucial year of study. Any extra stress or responsibility on a student during the college year must detract from studies, whether that?s from work or from partying too hard. So, in conclusion, I would state that yes, I believe that employment does detract from studies, however, with careful time management and good organisation, then it should be possible to keep this to an absolute minimum. It?ll look awfully good on a CV once that student has left University, too!

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                            30.04.2004 21:42
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                            • "learn to have sex"

                            I was delighted to see this subject available on Dooyoo, as it is one of my favorite soapboxes to preach on whenever I have an audience. I have held jobs since age 12 and have always been an excellent student. I feel that all people, espcially students should have jobs as they can learn so much more about life and living from work, skills and views that they can take into the classroom, helping them relate to society and the things they are learning at school. Now all my fans out there are, like Ok, now lets see how that contrary jerk can skew that thesis. I came from a rather afflunt family but my parents thought that they could help me learn discipline, responsibility and iniative by holding part-time menial jobs. Also I earnestly believe they were just the sort of people who can squeeze a nickle until the buffalo shits and figured they could foist more of their expenses on me and my low wage earnings and would allow them to retire to the beach at age 50 and buy a home much bigger and nicer than we ever had growing up. Let's talk about what a child learns at work when the get to work alongside the dregs of society who are condemed at adulthood to work in fast food or retail. What the heck can a highschool kid learn at a Pizza Shop, that will help him in life? I will tell you what I learned, I learned to drink, roll a good reefer and how to ^$#@. Thats what I learned from the welfare mother unwed single mothers and jailbird losers that made pizzas for a career. Sure I learned money management too, I also learned all about metric at the same time, I learned to budget my money so I could buy a gram of hash to get me through a night of working 8 hours after school and doing my homework at stop lights in my pizza delivery car. Having your children work at a typical place is like throwing them out to the wolves. Sure there may be places where it is all geeks and dogooder bandies, or maybe you got the juice to get your ki
                            d a job doing office work at your mates insurance office or something, but telling them to go find a job and leaving them to their own devices is immoral, irresponsible and plain stupid. Just look at the kids working in those places, you can see they are far more likely to drink, use drugs and have tattoos. Even before I was old enough to party I always took the worst from people. My first job was at a Chinese restaurant. Let's see what I learned there at age twelve. I learned enough Chinese words to make the waitress at Dragon Buffet run away crying when they make me mad and tell me there are no more crab legs. I learned how to do tricks with knives from a guy named Rooki from Thailand. I wonder if that has something to do with my carrying knives with me all the time like a garden variety Mexican. I learned to think immigrants were funny, after my boss insisted on putting peanut oil in my hair every day and then he would only pay my wages to my father and never give me my own money. I also learned all about sex. Listening to 4 30-something waitresses stand around smoking cigarettes and talking about men I learned damn fast what a girl wants. I think the worst thing I got from working as a teen was the idea that money was power and the significance and measure of people. Earning my own money made me greedy and hostile to those who didn't have money. This caused problems as I began to make money for the sake of making money. Did it interfere with my studies? Not until Uni when I had grown to define myself by my ability to be self sufficent. All of a sudden we graduated to big time where some students had real money and I was lumped in with people from rich families. So I felt like I had to have nice cars, clothes and stuff. My best opportunity to get money was to join the territorials. Let's see, did that interfere with my studies? Well it is damn hard to attend lectures when you are sitting at base camp Bravo in Dahran. How does i
                            t feel like to go back to Uni and try to act like a 19 year old kid and hear about the hazards of alcohol and date rape two months after a Scud missle hits the next tent over and wipes out 30 of your best and closest friends? I just feel that if you are going to work it should be to develop real life work skills that apply to career goals, a quasi intership, or if it is sheer neccessity to support your family. I feel any parents that want to be cheapskates and make their kid work to keep a junk car running should spend a lot of time helping their child find a job in a clean safe place that has reasonable people working there. The parents should be damn wary when their kid has money of their own because they will buy pornography and become a low life sex addict who wanders the streets of Rome at night solicting drug addicted prostitutes 15 years later, they will be able to buy beer and they will be around people who misuse and abuse substances. Their view of mature adults will shift from their teachers and clergy to drunk ass flunky Pizza shop manager and the other low lifes working there. My brother worked with a guy who always threatened to kill him. The guy would tell him that is he did not shut up he would disappear and if they ever found him it would be a closed casket funeral. My brother would just laugh at him and make fun of him for living with his mother at age 35. One day Popeye came home from work all tired and said he had to work too hard as the FBI came and took Richard away. The state of Ohio just executed him this year, he had murdered at least 8 women. Nice, huh? But guess what we paid for our own car insurance and gas and while working we missed out on as many sports and activities as possible curbing further expenses and costs for my parents. If you are going to make your kids work, at least be honest about it and save the sanctimonious crap about your kids learning responsibility, tell them that you are more concerned abou
                            t retirement and living high on the hog later in life and that you had kids without being able to provide for them and your own lifestyle. Any $#^*&^er who has kids and can't afford to raise them without making them go flip burgers with a bunch of perverts, dopers and wolves that will sexually harass them should go to hell. I have all these cute little Balkan and Slovak girls living with me and working at fast food joints, they deal with non stop sexual harassment from some of the local people working at the places. I don't want to be racist so use your imagination of what these girls go through. I am very angry now, I will go take out my anger on some minimun wage worker at a fast food joint, maybe it will be your kid.

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                              27.04.2004 00:41
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                              Hi! Those of you who are regular readers on dooyoo will prob know a wee bit about me so I'll not bore you all too much!! Basically I'm a first year music student at Aberdeen University and I'm gonna give you my experiences with working while studying. When I was really young, as most children do, I got money from my parents for doing odd jobs round the house. This soon developed to doing things for neighbours too, then babysitting, then when I was 16, I got a summer job in a cafe and cleaning holiday cottages. Unfortunately that didn't work out at all. Partly due to the fact that I hated the place and the people, but mainly cos I had a lot else on that summer anyway. In about the October after that, I was offered a job as a Saturday girl at the local travel agents where my parents were regulars and knew the owner. Although I was only paid £2 an hour (Which seems absolutely scandolous looking back on it!!), I did enjoy working there and just working Saturdays was about right time wise. I stayed there for about a year after which time I was ready to move on and get paid more!! (Plus the fact that they had to let me go due to the falls in the travel industry after September 11th). (I've just realised that this is starting to get long but I do have a point I promise!!! It's not just my work history!!) A few of my friends had jobs at the local Safeway store so I decided to apply and though I didn't get a job the first time I tried, they kept my details on the system and by April I was working there earning over double what I had been in my last job! I continued working at Safeway through my A levels and even though I did probably do more hours at work than I should've done, I came out with pretty good results and some money saved up for university which is never a bad thing to have!! When I came up to Aberdeen, I arranged to get a transfer so I could continue to work with Safeway to g
                              et the money - much needed as a student - but when I came back up to Aberdeen after Christmas, I realised that I just did not have the time. I was missing out on so much other stuff and when I was asked by the president of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society to sing in a show, but knew I couldn't get the time off work, it was just too good an opportunity to miss out on. Safeway were actually really good when I left and said that if my workload went down then I'd be wlecome to go back and I still work during the holidays at my home store. Just to sum things up (I've actually got to my point now!!), I think it's fine to work whilst being a student but it totally and utterly depends on the course you're doing and what else you're wanting to get out of university. With me doing music, there are sooo many things in addition to my course which I have to do, such as rehearsals, shows, concerts, instrumental tuition, practice.... the list actually just goes on! I'm also a member of the Student Association (Exectutive committee elections tomorrow!!!! I'm going up for Junior Vice President of the Faculty of Education Committee!!), and maybe I will get another job up here in a couple of years but at the moment I'm just happy being busy with all my other stuff. Another word of warning actually just before I stop rambling on, If you do get a holiday job, which I totally reccommend, just be very careful that you give yourself some time off!! I worked all Easter and though the money was great, it meant that uni work such as essays which I should have done, I didn't get time to do and I had a mad panic when I got back up here cos I had such a short aamount of time to do them. Right I'll shut up now!!! :):):)

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