Hi, my name is Sammie. I am in my 4th year at the University of York. I previously studied BSc Environmental Geography for three years, and now I’m engaged in MSc Sustainability Science for a further year. I’m a long-standing member of the Archery Society and love the University for its gorgeous campus and friendly waterfowl. I also work at a hotel. I’m here to tell you how I successfully balance part-time employment and full-time university study.
Pick a sensible number of hours
For my part-time employment role, I usually work 12 hours each week, broken up into 3 shifts. My job enables me to work a combination of breakfast and evening restaurant shifts. So even on my workdays, I always have the other half a day to do whatever I need with – which is perfect!
Planning ahead is important, not just week by week but also term by term. Once my timetable is released, I send my employer a copy straight away. This is so helpful as they can make sure my shifts avoid timetabled sessions, so I never have to sacrifice one for the other.
Use those holidays wisely
Utilise those holiday days. The best use I found, is to use them for my exam weeks, just to give myself plenty of breathing space to focus on university, without worrying about being on my A game at work too. I can also use them around field trips and particularly busy weeks, just so I make sure I get enough rest time in.
Allocate time sensibly
Week by week, I keep a Google calendar on my laptop so I can see my gaps around my sessions and shifts. This means I can block book some dedicated study time in, and I can leave my unallocated time for relaxing and doing fun things, like going to archery, so I still don’t miss out on the social side of uni.
Ultimately, working part-time alongside your degree is manageable and can even be fun! Having a separate group of friends at work to socialise with is great and the work keeps me busy over the holidays as a welcome break from assignments. Also, that extra money is wonderful and can really alleviate some of the financial pressures of student life. If you can manage it effectively, part-time working doesn’t need to take away from having that authentic student experience!