Hi everyone!

My name is Lydia, and I am a second-year Management and Marketing student here at the University of Exeter. I also work part-time as a student ambassador at the university, and in the communications department at the Sports Park.

Today I am bringing you my take on balancing study and work, something which has taken me some time to learn. I know student finances can be tight, and it can be necessary to earn some extra pennies. However, part-time work can also add to your personal skillset and boost your CV for future careers. It’s something I have learned so much from!

Firstly, don’t overcommit yourself! I was the biggest victim of saying yes to too much in my first year. It is totally fine to say NO to those extra shifts your manager wants you to do if you have too much on your plate. Once you agree to work overtime, it is hard to withdraw from it. So, think carefully about what you pledge to do as you also need to be able to have downtime with your friends!

Next, find a job with flexibility. As a student, you will have busier periods of study as well as holidays where you may want to pop home or go away for a few weeks. When you are tied into a contract, you may be limited as to when you are able to take leave and how much time you can take off. Personally, I decided to find a job where I could choose my hours to fit around my social life and studies so that I didn’t have ties to being in Exeter during the vacation breaks and wasn’t super stressed in deadline season.

My final piece of advice would be to use your time around your job wisely. It is so important that you keep on top of your university work to avoid being totally overwhelmed and behind. I like to plan my week on a Sunday night, scheduling time to work on each module around my shifts. This allows me to stay accountable to myself and makes sure I get everything completed! I would also suggest you think about what time of day you are going to be most productive and time this accordingly. Personally, I like to get a couple of hours of study in first thing in the morning before I clock in for work; I work best then, but you might be a night owl!

I hope this encourages you to take the exciting opportunities you are given but equally, don’t become victim to overworking; your well-being comes first!