Working during your studies: can you do it, and is it really worth it?

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University is a huge stage in your life. Learning to live alone, often in a new city and generally having to take full responsibility of your finances, bills and rent payments is a big change. Many people rely on the help of student loans, grants or help from their parents, but some may still struggle with the financial pressures experienced at uni and need a little extra spending money.

Others may be keen to get work experience in, before leaving university with the money being an added bonus. But is it a good idea? As with everything there are pros and cons, and a lot to consider.

What does your uni say?

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Some of you may or may not know this, but not every uni is all right with you working during term time. The university has your best academic interest in mind, and therefore at times asks for you to check in with your tutor before you accept the position.

Of course, they could never stop you completely from taking the job, but might give you advice on whether the position you are considering is the best one for you and your academic life. Either way, know that you will be helped in making the decision and are not alone in it.

The summer/holiday option

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An option that many students take advantage of (and at times prefer) is the summer and/or holiday work. During the holiday period you are not balancing your academic life with your working one, meaning that when the time comes for each, you can dedicate yourself entirely to one or the other; so your work does not take away from your studies, and your studies don’t interfere with your work. It's a win-win situation.

In fact, this option is a popular one, but is only a good idea as long as it doesn’t become more important to you than what you are studying. Also, after a stressful year at uni you have to consider if you can then cope with a full summer of working, everybody needs some occasional downtime.

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