Working while studying – is it possible?

“Students have such an easy life” – how often have I heard this? They have a few lectures now and again, learn a few things along the way, sit a couple of written tests each year and party all the time. Because it is only students who can afford to do this during the week. Many people view student life as being a carefree time. But from my perspective, it is a little bit different. Lectures need to be post-processed, assignments have to be completed and studying at ISM also includes many other commitments. Obviously you also want to enjoy your spare time, meet friends, discover the city and occasionally turn the night into day – because at the end of the day, student life should be an enjoyable period…But how can I find the time to earn a bit of money?

Despite receiving financial support from my parents, I have always been keen to earn my own money and be independent. I therefore wanted to continue working part time after enrolling at ISM. What I did not realise, however, was how difficult it would be trying to juggle studying, working and still having a social life – and time management is still a problem even after two semesters. Luckily, working as a waitress at various events allows me to tailor my working hours to fit in with my lectures. I work less hours during exam periods, and learn when I am not working. Is there any time for social interests?

Work or free-time?

“We’re going out for a drink tonight. Do you want to come along?” “I’ve got to work, maybe next time.” “Next week we’re meeting up and cooking together. Do you fancy it?” “Sorry, I’ll be busy carrying trays again.”

Unfortunately, this is often the way it goes when trying to hold down a job while studying. Social life, particularly as a student, usually takes place during the week. The result: Fewer spontaneous decisions, less time with friends. You miss out on a lot, especially if not many of your friends work and have more spare time than you.

Aside from the obvious drawbacks, I also take a lot of positives from the sometimes exhausting job. In contrast to the lectures, it is a chance to give my mind a bit of a break, as you are busy making sure the guests are happy and the event goes to plan. I get to know lots of new people, but also meet familiar faces who I enjoy working with.

The biggest benefit is the money I earn. However, for me personally, the greatest learning experience is how to handle the money. You are obviously more careful with your own money, because you know just how hard it was to earn it. And you never cease to learn when dealing with different people, be it a guest or a superior.

Finding the right mix

I really enjoy working with guests, even though I often have to put my social life on hold, and it is not always easy keeping my eyes open at university the next day after working late into the night. I really believe everyone would profit from working part time while studying, irrespective of the job. It is all about learning for life – and it looks pretty good on your CV, too.

Author: Christina Seibold