While the majority of students opt to live a life of counting coppers and desperately perusing the reduced section in Tesco for a (dangerously-close-to-expiry-date) bargain, I am here to inform you that there is another option to this cliché of student living. Yes, that’s right. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Having a part-time job at university gives you that little bit of extra cash, which allows you to have a few luxuries. Sure, you’re still going to be skint 90% of the time, but next time you’re in Tesco you can confidently reach for the box of Yorkshire Tea, rather than the supermarkets own brand dishwater-flavoured teabags, and not leave with a sense of regret at your reckless self-indulgent spending. This seriously improved my quality of life. While the majority of your income will still come from your student loan, it’s nice to have some financial freedom to make stupid, excessive purchases and justify it with the reasoning: ‘Hey, I earned this.’ And you’re right.
Some of the best friends I have made in Newcastle have been made through my part-time job and it’s a great opportunity to really widen your network of friends and actually interact with people local to your university city. After 3 years studying at Newcastle University you can potentially be exposed to only southern accents the entire time. For the full Geordie experience, get a part-time job and get a flavour for local life – it’s not that scary, I promise.
Juggling studying, work, a social life and family is difficult at times, but is definitely a more realistic preparation for life in the ‘real world’. Unfortunately, most jobs don’t consist of 12 o’clock starts and the option for your mate to sign you in on the register, so having an actual part-time work commitment is a great way to prepare yourself for this, as well as looking good on your CV to future employers.
While I understand that some degrees are simply too time consuming for everyone to be able to commit to part-time work, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who can realistically work alongside their degree. Although a student loan and money from your parents is great, there’s no better feeling than earning your own money and being able to enjoy yourself at university without worrying about the cost.