I’m 18 years old and I’ve had five jobs since I turned 15. I was once called a ‘jobaholic’ by a friend, and I’d have to agree. I come from a very working class family who put a lot of pressure on me to make my own money from a young age, so it felt natural to stumble into the world of work as soon as possible.
I enjoyed working, and most of all, I enjoyed money!
But then I started university. I was working as a waitress part-time for a big, well known company. I think I must have under-estimated the work and stress I would be under once I started uni, and how much time at home I would need to get stuff done. I was on a 20 hour contract (the norm for most part-time jobs) and whenever I wasn’t at uni, I was putting in shifts at work. It’s fair to say I wasn’t much fun to be around at that time, I was constantly tired, coming straight from uni to work and vice versa, completely missing deadlines because I was so absorbed in the stress that my part-time job was putting on me, and it wasn’t healthy. I craved a day off, just one single day where I could relax and unwind, but every spare second I got I was trying to cram into essay writing and studying.
It wasn’t a good time for me at all, and it started showing at work, so eventually I got sacked. To be honest, I couldn’t have been unhappy about it if I tried. I had my freedom back. I could put my all back into my uni work, I could have some me-time, and I could re-discover my friends that I’d so neglected. FREEDOM!
I guess what I’m trying to address with my story is, you’re at university to study for a career that you want to be in. Sometimes you have to put your studies before your “mr-krabbs-from-spongebob” love of money. If you can, try and get work once or twice a week – it’s not practical to be doing 16 to 20 hours when you’re trying to study for your future. Being unemployed may have a certain stigma about it, but remember that you’re a student. You’re doing this so you can LOVE waking up in the morning and going to a job that you enjoy.
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