Working students, an ever-growing portion of the university population, worry constantly about their work loads. If you’re one of those students, you will probably find that making it to class every day, working several shifts a week, volunteering and staying active make for a very busy life.
While you are in control when it comes scheduling your classes and to signing up for different activities, there are seemingly uncontrollable factors that impact your stress levels if you throw a part-time job into your already hectic schedule. Don’t despair! Working during the school year does not have to cause you additional stress.
If you’re a student who works off-campus, evening and weekend shifts are likely the shifts you are most available to work. But when you spend most of the day in class, evening and weekends are often also the only times available to study and complete assignments.
This doesn’t have to be a problem. When looking for a job during school, look for one with flexible hours and, ideally, two or three three-hour shifts a week.
Time spent at work isn’t the only thing conflicting with your studies: wasting your time during days off from work often affects your school performance.
A “day off” should not mean the same thing to you as it does to someone who is not in school. A day off from work can’t always be treated as a day off from studying.
With a busy schedule, time spent travelling to and from activities simply adds to stress. When you have a vehicle this is not much of a problem. But for a student relying completely on a bus pass or bike, cutting down on travel time makes all the difference. Trying to get home after a five- or six-hour shift and dealing with the slower pace of late-night bus schedules eats into your all-important study time.
Finding work on or close to campus offers an easy solution to this problem, since it eliminates travel time. Instead of going to school and then work before heading home, you only need to make one trip away from home in a day. Plus, when you don’t need to travel you can start and end your shift earlier, giving you more time to study after your shift is over.
Many campus departments hire student assistants, like the university libraries, University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union clubs and food services, to name just a few. These are jobs where you employer understands both the high demands of student life and the need for extra income. When working with the university library, for example, shifts are flexible and you only have to work the shifts you are able to.
The other benefit to working for the library is that you can study where you work. After finishing a shift, it only takes two minutes to find a table or a comfortable chair and get working on school work, something that working off-campus does not provide.
Start looking for these jobs midsummer, since a lot of places on campus start looking for student employees early.