Being a full-time student often means money is tight. It’s not uncommon to get part-time work on top of studying to help pay for rent, books and extra-curricular activities. However, you’ve signed a contract with your university to work hard for your degree, and you want to have fun when you’re not studying, so how do you fit in paid work?
Combining work and study ultimately requires good self-organization, time-management and planning. Most universities generally recommended their full-time students to only work between 15-20 hours a week, maximum.
Wages for students
To put things in perspective, assume a student aged 18-20 years earns minimum wage (£4.98/hour) and works for 15 hours/week. Each week they’ll earn at least £74.70. Students aged 21+ would earn at least £91.20 with a minimum wage of £6.08/hour. Minimum wage for school students under 18 is £3.68/hour. This allows the student to earn money without letting work interfere with their study.
These figures are the bare minimum, as many ‘student’ jobs pay more than minimum wage. Typical student jobs usually include: bar work, retail, till work, waitressing, flying and barista work. Most of these jobs would pay approximately between £5-7/hour. These kinds of wages should help students to pay for their food shopping, transport and parties.
So the best way to combine work and study is to book off 15-20 hours a week that’s dedicated to paid work. Then take into consideration how long it takes to travel to and from work, as this still takes time out of your studying/relaxing schedule. Buy a calendar and mark off the time you can’t study to help you organize your time and mind. Then, mark off the time you’d be spending in classes and lectures.
Mark off any extra-curricular activities you do, including winding down time and socializing. Then see how many hours you’re left with that are dedicated to studying, homework and coursework. Then of course, leave some spare hours of leeway. You may find your schedule is now completely packed! If you love this kind of lifestyle, being busy and always on the go, then all you need to do is stay on top of things and stick to your schedule.
Freelancing for students
If you think this is too much, as the amount of time you can use to work may depend on how many hours of classes you have a week, then you may need to consider doing work that requires less hours per week, or work you can do in your own home. There are plenty of jobs nowadays which you can do using just a computer and the Internet. One of the most popular is providing research paper writing for those who are not good in studying.
These include link-checking, ghost-writing, or text question and answer services. Jobs you can do on your computer can save you time traveling to and from work, and enabling you to do your job in your own time.
Remember that everything’s relative. How much you can work part-time depends on your set university timetable. Try to gain the right balance between work and study. Use a 50-50 ratio splitting work and study evenly, or 40-60 where work is 60 and study is 40.
Remember that you are at university for a reason, and that’s to study and get a degree. Remember you are paying thousands of pounds to be there, attend classes and pass exams – you don’t want to throw that money away by sacrificing your studies to work.
What’s the point of going to university just to work to stay there and not study? These decisions are usually made before enrolling so make sure you don’t lose sight of why you’re at university in the first place. Student loans and budgeting sensibly should help you stay afloat.
Combining work and study can be made easier as long as long as you discipline yourself and stick to your schedules. There are 168 hours in a week and you need to remember that a portion of those hours will be taken up by time spent at work and in classes. Plus sleeping, eating and relaxing. How you use the time in between is up to you.
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