Work-study balance: Juggling a job and university

—Anisha Begum, Administrative Assistant

The idea of juggling a part-time job with a full-time undergraduate degree can be daunting—but with the right mindset, it is entirely achievable.

Of course with ever increasing tuition fees’, working while studying is the route many students take. It is tempting for some students to take on part-time jobs with long working hours, but it is important to consider the effect it may have on one’s studies and well-being. Thus, balance is key.

I began working for United Way UK as an Administrative Assistant in October 2016—which is also when I began studying Psychology at university. I quickly learned that excellent time management and organisational skills were imperative for me to succeed. This meant staying on top of assignments and preparation for exams by prioritising my workload in both my studies and my job.

The great team at United Way UK are extremely accommodating including offering flexibility around my working days and permitting study leave during exam season. Therefore, for a student searching jobs, understanding the compatibility of the job role itself with one’s working style, study pattern and capacity is crucial to consider.

Aside from meeting financial needs, I was interested in gaining work experience in the three years I would be studying. Working at United Way UK has offered me opportunities to improve my transferable skills and qualities; from teamwork to communication to research/analytical skills. And now that I will be starting my third and final year with an upcoming dissertation project and graduation on the horizon, such skills are incredibly useful to possess.

A crucial note to remember is that university is about more than solely studying, so allocating time for breaks, leisure and social activities is also very important. The key is balance so personal health and well-being is undoubtedly an essential factor in the equation.  

Education is invaluable at an individual, national and global level, and with United Way UK’s focus on bettering education, I am proud to be part of such a fulfilling organisation.