When June rolls around, it is often a time of celebration for students. The end of exams is the signal to start to relax and party with friends, while also looking forward to spending some time at home with family. With little to no university commitments, there really is nothing like two whole months of freedom. However, for many they either need to, or want to, spend their time over summer in paid work. Something which brings both advantages and, indeed, disadvantages.
To start on a positive note, I’ve found in my time studying that summer work has always been beneficial. One of the most prominent benefits is obviously the money. The opportunity to save up some cash for returning to university, to pay rent on your accommodation for the following year, or even save some money to go on holiday with, the list is truly endless. Money in the bank is often a tricky issue for students, so the chance to be able to have some extra cash on hand for when university restarts can be a massive boost.
Another positive element to work over summer is the return to a regular routine. I know in my experience that I have found the lack of routine associated with university life particularly challenging. Having to wake up at the same time of day for a regular work shift, as well as having a proper eating and sleeping pattern, is one of the most underrated experiences in my opinion.
Paid work while away from university studies allows for this in abundance and can be a very welcome detox after nine months of chaotic university life.
While I have always found summer work to be beneficial, it is certainly not without its disadvantages. These include the lack of control over your own time. At uni, students have the ability to control much of their own time. This allows them to arrange their studies and social lives more efficiently, so they don’t miss out on being able to perform well academically and spend time with friends. A regular shift pattern always means there is a risk that an individual may have to turn down the chance to do something they really enjoy, simply because they have committed to being at work.
The other disadvantage of summer work is the simple fact of fatigue. While university is fun, it can also be stressful and tiring. The last thing some students would want to do is throw themselves into a demanding paid job after spending months on a degree which has already mentally exhausted them. They want to return home and relax as much as possible before returning to the demanding work of uni.
Despite this, overall I have always found paid work over summer to be a really positive experience. While university can be exhausting, returning home to embark on work is a fantastic change of scenery. Along with the money and the routine I would always recommend it to my peers.