When you first move into your student accommodation, you’re going to be faced with two very important and very daunting issues. Firstly, the cost. You may be used to your parents picking up the tab for everything you do. Food, going out, holidays, they paid for everything. Sure, you may have had a paper round so you can feed your Xbox with new games now and then, but the big things? They covered.
As soon as you move away you’re going to have to buy food, pay for the cinema, beer, more food, newspapers, Internet access, the list goes on.
The second thing that many students face is loneliness. There’s a chance you’ll be moving into accommodation with others and you’ll be able to make friends quickly. Thing is, if you’re in a room in small house and there aren’t many others around, it could be difficult to make friends.
So, get a job.
Only part-time, you won’t have the hours in the day to do anymore, but it will help you by giving you extra money to spend on the luxuries in life, but you’ll also be meeting a lot of people. Many students choose to get a bar job or work in a restaurant, and these can bring other benefits.
One of the best skills you can acquire and build on in life is the ability to talk to others. Social skills are critical in business and customer facing skills like being “front of house” in a restaurant can really help. Dale Carnegie, one of the best businessmen of his time, said that most of success is down to how we deal with people. Treat them well, get them to like you, and you will be successful.
Working at a young age with people who are demanding can be an excellent life skill to learn, and if you deal with it well, you can use this forever more.
How to get a job
Ask around, check university notice boards, pop into restaurants and ask. You’ll find the best jobs are the ones you have to seek out and work for. Those that are handed to you on a plate will probably pay less, be more demanding and much less fulfilling.
Also, ask others who already have a job. Someone out there will be working somewhere that they absolutely love. Ask them if there are other jobs available, what the working conditions are like and importantly, the pay.
Don’t expect the best, but don’t suffer the worst
Some places will be looking to squeeze the most out of you as possible. They’ll be trying to get you to do as much as possible for as little pay as they can. You have a choice: put up with it and take the money, or do something about it.
While I’m not one to say you should be upsetting the applecart for the sake of it, you should certainly ensure your employer isn’t breaking the law or being exploitative. It’s your responsibility to not only walk away from such work but also report it.
Being a student doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be respected, but you should also expect to do a lot of hard work. Life isn’t easy, it’s most certainly very hard, and here is where you’ll learn the valuable life skills that will serve you well in the future.