Life as a Part Time Student
When you look into attending university, it comes with many different options. You don’t always have to follow the standard path of doing a full time, three-year degree. Degrees can come in all varieties, and one of those options is a part-time degree. Part-time degrees are perfect for anyone who has other commitments alongside their studies. It means you don’t have to abandon whatever you’re handling right now completely; instead, you can do both! If you’re considering a part-time degree, you should make sure it suits you. There are many pros and cons for you to consider, but thankfully, this post will highlight them all for you!
Work and Study
The most common reason people choose to do a part-time degree is that they want to work alongside it. University life can be expensive at the best of times, so this is also a good idea if you don’t think you can afford it the usual way. Sure, there’s a student loan, but that’s not enough for many students, and it can feel quite unfair. The alternative is to get a part-time job and study at the same time. You might also find if you’re a mature student, that you can’t leave your current job or that you have little mouths to feed. There are so many reasons for needing to work while at uni, but this is the best way to do it.
Longer to complete
This is probably obvious but studying for a degree part-time is usually a lot longer overall. Depending on what degree you decide to study, a part-time degree could take five years or even more to complete. This might not be a concern for you, but it’s a longtime commitment, and you might find that five years is just a bit too much. You also want to be sure that you won’t get bored in that time and find interests elsewhere. If you’re confident in your degree and that you’ll stick with it, this won’t matter as much.
Looks good to employers
As mentioned, working alongside your degree could be really advantageous but especially when applying to jobs. These days, so many job roles require or at least prefer you to have a degree. Degrees don’t seem to be as special as they used to because so many people are achieving them, but that also means it would be good to have one. That being said, there’s nothing worse than graduating from university and struggling to find roles because they require experience too. Some companies ask too much of their applicants, but if you want to meet their expectations, having a balance of experience and education will help you a mile. It’s literally having the best of both worlds, and it’s exactly what you need to land your dream job.
One thing you have to consider as a part-time student is that most people could end up being older than you. Depending on your age, that might be absolutely fine! Most people who do part-time degrees have decided they want to attend uni later on in their lives. They might already have children or jobs, which is why a part-time degree is better suited for them. If that’s something you can relate to, you’ll fit right in. If you’re a younger student, however, you might struggle to find your crowd. There’s nothing wrong with socialising with the older students, but you’re less likely to find it here if you want the young, party, student lifestyle.
More time for fun
Just because you have free time as a part-time student doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend it working. Of course, working alongside is essential for some people, but you can also use your free time to have more fun with friends instead! Leave some of the time for doing exactly what you want to do. This is one of those opportunities you only have as a student, so make the most of it. Go to events, socialise and live your best life!
The need for strong organisational skills
In some ways, this one isn’t a negative if managing your time is something you’re good at. It would help if you found the perfect balance between your job and study time outside of classes. If being organised isn’t your strong point, though, this might be tricky for you. Unlike with a full-time degree, you’re going to have multiple things to focus on, and if you don’t keep them lined up, you could end up being behind or even having bad grades. Many people juggle jobs alongside a full-time degree too, so in some ways, it might be easier, but it’s all down to you. How much can you handle?
Good support from teachers
Your teachers and lecturers will be familiar with helping part-time students, so they are the best people to go to if you have any real issues. If the workload is just too much or you’re struggling to balance your time, they may be able to offer advice and guide you through it. With any struggles you have, you won’t be the first. Check out your university to see what support they offer. It’s always worth using what’s available to you.