It’s very common for students to pick up part-time work while studying, and although it’s been a bit hard to find part-time work during a pandemic, it hasn’t been impossible! Online tutoring, babysitting, blogging, translating, or Deliveroo cycling – whatever kind of work you might do to support your studying, you might find it adds to your student experience rather than detracting from it. Here is what I found while studying my Master’s alongside some part-time work:
Time Management Skills
When I studied for my undergrad, I did not have a part-time job because I was convinced it would result in me having less time for my studies. However, I’ve found it has helped me learn much more efficient time management skills. In order to get a healthy study-life balance, realistically you’re not going to wake up at 7am and study until 11pm at night (or I hope not – if you’re doing this, please schedule in some breaks)!
Structure Your Week
I found that by structuring my week to include rests, study deadlines, and my part-time job, I’ve been working much more efficiently. Instead of having long stretches of endless work where my productivity takes a hit, I have real deadlines that keep my motivation up and the momentum going. Rather than seeing my part-time work as an obstacle to getting seminar readings or essay writing done, I see it as a way of having some much needed space. Studying a master’s degree – or any degree – it can be hard to see the forest from the trees sometimes. It can be helpful to take a step back, and my part-time job helps me achieve this broader perspective.
Give Your Brain a Break
It’s important to give your brain something else to think about that isn’t just about your course – currently my dreams are plagued with my over-thinking about my essay, so it’s a bit of welcome relief when I engage in productive work that doesn’t include studying, and also isn’t just Netflix bingeing.
London is Expensive!
Aside from developing life or professional skills, adding some variety to our pandemic-monotony lives, or structuring our week to be more productive, a very real part of part-time work as a student is the fact that London is expensive! There are ways of cutting costs and minimising expenses, but the price of living in an exciting capital city is high. A part-time job definitely helps reduce the stress of high costs!
Overall, whether you’re studying at LSE during a pandemic or not, I would recommend getting a part-time job – whether that’s online or in-person! Not only can it help you develop time management skills, structure your week and keep up momentum, and give your brain a much needed distraction from your course, but also it can provide ways of enjoying London even more.
You can find out more about part-time work here.