The Workaholics Guide to Balancing Studying and Working...

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Many of my friends, family and even acquaintances refer to me as a workaholic, it's no secret that I like earning money and being in control of my own future. For me that means working hard, gaining contacts and experience to help me in the future. I won't pretend it's easy as working 2 jobs and all the other things i do, is often pretty tough,  but I know that many other people are in the same boat and if I don't want it enough as far as I'm concerned someone else who's worked harder than me will be more successful.

Over the last two years I've worked a number of jobs and internships, helped people out with events, given the odd bit of PR/Social media consultancy, written lots and generally just worked hard! It's not supposed to be easy, and interning whilst working definitely isn't. I've been lucky in that I've had 2 internships which have been paid positions, I know this is pretty rare and I'm so grateful for the opportunities that I've had. But I won't put it all down to luck, I've worked really hard and its taken me a long time to take pride in that!

My third year of my degree at college was pretty intense, throughout I worked two jobs, a retail job and an internship and roughly worked around 25 hours a week on top of my 2 full days at college and my coursework. It was pretty full on and I'll admit that there were a number of nights I was very stressed and stayed up all hours to get work finished. I do have some advice though for anyone who is thinking of working and or interning whilst studying, obviously my tips are just from my experience but I hope they might help some of you in the future too.

1. Don't expect it to be easy.
There will undoubtedly be early mornings, late nights and times when you feel exhausted, trust me it is worth it.

2. An air of entitlement is so very unattractive.
Confidence is all well and good, but thinking you are entitled to something whether that's a job or respect, is one of the most unattractive qualities and people will very quickly pick up on it. Job hunting is hard, earning people's respect can be difficult, but by showing your talent and skills, both will become much easier.

3. Don't look down on part-time jobs.
I've worked throughout my entire time studying my degree, it's lovely that some people have the opportunity to not need to study throughout university but in reality many people do work. I've spoken to many employers and interviewers who have said they really respect and look favourably upon students who held down part time jobs, it shows dedication and the ability to multi-task!

4. Organisation is key.
Being organised is super important, I'd be lost without my Filofax as it helps me keep on track with what I'm doing from day-to-day and hour-by-hour. Whether it's making sure you've packed your lunch for a busy day at work or planning out your train times before a job interview, being organised will always help you to focus on the task at hand. I spend lots of time on trains and use as much time as possible whilst travelling keeping up with studying, be it reading or note taking, commuting time can be optimum studying time (as long as it's not too busy!)

The life of a commuter... 

5. Know your limits.
In September I'll be starting my honours year studying Film and Media at Stirling University and have already pre-decided how much time I can budget to working. I'll only be working one job next year as I know I need to focus more in fourth year and dedicate more time to my studies than in previous years.

Working hard means playing hard too, celebrating finishing our exams;
we then found out all 3 of us are graduating with Distinction!
I hope some of these tips are useful, I've just finished my BA in Media and Communications and though I worked 2 jobs (among lots of other extracurricular activities) I managed to graduate with distinction, I'm so pleased with how it's all turned out and I can't wait to begin fourth year in September! Let me know if you've got any tips for workaholic students as I'd love to hear them.

1 comment:

  1. You're so right! I don't have a filofax but my scaffy wee diary is an absolute life saver! This is a really interesting read, I always worked two part time jobs while I was studying my undergrad and post grad, and managed to fit in studying, volunteering and the bare bones of what could be called a social life, and I have to say, it was EXHAUSTING. I absolutely did not know my limits in the first couple years, and very nearly burnt out. It's important that, while you want to stay financially comfortable and independent, and progress your career, sometimes you just need to stop. I started making sure I was turning my phone and disconnecting my e-mails etc off at least one day a week... its important to learn when to say no!

    Having said that, I wouldn't change a thing! Congrats on your distinction! xxx


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