College advice for freshmen

Lucy Danby is a student at Sheffield Hallam University, in the UK, studying for a Master of Design in Furniture and Product Design. She is currently doing a design internship with Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens as part of the third year of her 4 year course. After graduation Lucy is aiming to pursue a career in Kitchen Design. Lucy’s design work can be found on her website and blog at lucydanbydesign.weebly.com.

So, you may be wondering whether it’s a good idea to get yourself a part-time job while studying at college, or university if you’re from the UK like me. Before I experienced working while I studied I never thought I’d be able to do it. I thought I didn’t have time for a job and that my college work came first so I should focus on that. In a way I was right, but now I have a part time job and still manage to get all my work done, I really wish I’d done it sooner!
I do love my part time job and I am so glad I have it because my finances would be so much worse without it. But like anything there are highs and lows of working while studying. So if you’re unsure whether this is for you or want to know what it’s really like; let me give you an insight into some of the positives and negatives.
Positives
1) Extra Money!
It’s really nice to have that little bit extra in your back pocket and it feels good to know that you’ve earned it rather than being given money from your parents. The regular income will be ease your mind and can really help out when times are tough.
2) It looks good on your resume
When it comes to graduate job interviews your resume is going to look much better than someone who didn’t have a part-time job during college. Your resume will look much fuller and will show you can manage your time to be able to juggle all the things you have. Plus, think of all those extra references you’ll have to add to those from your course tutors!
3) Better time management and appreciation of time
Having a part-time job will teach you how to manage your time better so you can still make sure you get to all your lectures, get that report written by the end of the week, go to work in the evening but still have time to go out partying! You will appreciate the time you do have to yourself and will use it more wisely than if you had all the time in the world to get your college work done. The mini deadlines of having to be at a shift really does help.
4) A better chance of a graduate job
You’ll have a better chance of getting the graduate job you’ve been dreaming about. You know what they say, it’s easier to get another job when you already have one. You will have the experience of having an employer and will know the kind of people they’re looking for. Your working mind-set could allow you to easily write a good CV and covering letter rather than sitting in front of a blank page not knowing what to write.
Negatives
1) Added Stress
Studying while working part-time will make your schedule even busier. When it comes to the week of the deadline the last thing you want to do is go to work when you know you could be using that time to get some more coursework or revision done. But the stress can be good in that it motivates you to get the work done when you should be rather than procrastinating too much.
2) A worse sleeping pattern
Say hello to a student sleeping pattern that’s even more screwed up than it already is! Your precious beauty sleep could end up being sacrificed because after your full day at college you’ve got to do an evening or close shift at work. You might not get to sleep till 2am but have to be up at 8am to get to your 9am seminar, have fun with that! But we’re young…we can do this, rock and roll!
3) Lack of concentration
You may lose some concentration on your work because you’re too busy looking at the clock every few minutes wondering whether you have to set off for work yet.
4) Working around your timetable
Negotiating shifts around your timetable and personal commitments can sometimes be a real pain. But if you’re lucky and have an employer that is decent and understanding then it shouldn’t be hard to figure something out that works for the both of you.
Overall, from my personal experiences, I would highly recommend having a part-time job while studying. In my eyes the positives outweigh the negatives and you could end up achieving things you never thought possible. It will develop yourself as a person and teach you some valuable life lessons puts you ahead of the game. Good luck on your future ventures!

college advice for freshmen

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