With the new University term a few weeks away, and some freshers already enjoying their very first taste of university life, many will be wondering; is it worth getting a job while away at University? For the first time in your life you are away from your parents financial safety net and you are forced to manage your money by yourself.
Sure, students have loans, grants, bursaries and the occasional financial bump from the parents across their university life, but money is notoriously tight. Whether that's because they don't get enough cash, or whether they just don't know how to manage their spending, the end result is the same, should they get a job? It seems like the obvious way to make sure they have enough money to live out their lives in some comfort, but there are concerns that committing to a job for too long each week can bring down your work and ability to research. Some universities simply won't allow you to work, making you sign a contract to prevent you from doing so throughout your degree. Here are some of the different factors to look at when choosing whether or not to work through your university life.
Will the university let you?
Oxbridge and other high-end establishments will often require you to run any jobs by your tutor, or even sign to say you agree not to work during vacation periods, in which you will be expected to continue academic work. The big universities tend to take the behaviour of their students fairly seriously. If you're one of those students, have a good think about whether or not you want to annoy them by getting a job.
Can you afford not to?
Regardless of whether or not the uni lets you, you should ask whether you really need to get a job, if you get enough grants, loans and money from the deus ex machine that are your parents and guardians then you should consider leaving it. It's you one chance to be able to dedicate all your time to study, business ventures and, of course, getting inebriated, while still having a good few safety nets. This will rarely happen again.
That said, you may consider that a weekend job in a bar gets you a little pocket money, while maintaining a social life by doing work in a bar. This is similar with retail jobs, there isn't quite as good a social element, assuming that you consider the pinnacle of that to be getting drunk, but then you'll save cash on whatever the shop sells. For this reason, apply in stores that you value and use regularly to feel the benefit most. For a whole host of student jobs check out StudentJobs.co.uk.
What if you really need the money?
There are always going to be people that don't have the luxury of free money, so getting a job is the only way to support university life. Accommodation for students around london can be a big factor when it comes to needing extra cash to afford living. If this is your situation, don't worry too much, while you will have a more intense university life with much longer working days, you will be setting yourself up for a really strong working career, becoming a much stronger person if you succeed.