As a student, often you may feel as if you aren’t making enough money to live comfortably.
This is especially true for undergraduate students who may not be getting enough support from their parents to supplement the money received from student finance.
Should you get a second job while you study? and if so should you work full-time?
There is free money available while you study
As a student, there are usually provisions made to avoid the need to work full-time during your studies.
While part-time work may be necessary to supplement student finance income it is certainly not necessary to work full-time while studying.
There is usually free* money in the form of loans and grants available that allow students to at least have enough money for all the tuition fees, and some money for accommodation and living.
Explore what loans and grants you are entitled to as a student!
Also, be aware that university and academic debt isn’t for everyone!
Your university may kick you out
Full-time work during full-time studies is against most university policies especially if you are studying for an undergraduate degree.
Actually, most universities discourage any form of employment during full-time study outside of volunteering, working for the university, or doing research at the university.
This is different for part-time courses, degrees and diplomas since employers often enrol their employees in such programs to boost their skills while they continue working full-time.
As a full-time student and a full-time employee, your study time isn’t protected in the same way it is if your degree is part-time and approved by your employer.
Universities also usually have a soft quota (15 hours maximum a week) of permitted work outside university time.
Your grades will suffer
Working a full-time job as a student without seeing some negative impacts on academic performance is almost impossible.
Luckily, it is also impossible for full-time students to find full-time jobs!
Even if it is part-time during term-time, and full-time over the summer, your grades are likely to suffer beyond the acceptable range.
Tiredness has the potential to make you forget homework assignments, miss entire exams, and limit the effort put into coursework.
Full-time work during university is an absolute no-no unless you are very much struggling financially.
Your university experience will be affected
You’ll never have time to pursue your hobbies and interests if you’re always working.
You need to make time for yourself outside of work to do the things you love – especially to experience a healthy social life.
Working one to two days a week can be manageable for most undergraduate students, however, working a full-time job and simply taking advantage of the fact that most lessons are online will severely affect your university experience and your mental health.
You are unlikely to be able to enjoy university societies, socials and activities if you work 30+ hours a week and still keep up with university lectures.
You will be making too much money
While this seems somewhat silly, there is some truth to the idea that if you work too much while at university, you run the risk of making too much money relative to your peers.
This can make it difficult to associate with peers especially if your taste for activities is much more expensive than that of your peers.
If you are planning on buying a house by the time you leave university, and your peers are only now looking for work, this could breed some resentment!
If you plan on doing this, it may be a good idea to associate with other students who also have jobs.
In summary, if you plan on enjoying your time at university, abiding by university regulations, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, you should probably avoid any form of elaborate employment while in full-time study.
This is different for part-time students who oftentimes have legally protected time to study during their work days.
This however is mostly applicable to individuals doing masters programs such as MPH in Public Health where it is necessary for full-time professionals to undergo academic training.
For the everyday undergraduate student, full-time employment is strongly discouraged and in most cases against university policy.
If you do decide to go ahead with it, make sure to have a good plan beforehand to account for the missed time in lectures and seminars, and the lost time for socialising.
Explore for yourself the world of non-traditional yet lucrative career options that could secure your path to financial success!