This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Working part time in first year of Uni?(22 Posts)
My Dd has had an up & down start to uni, although there are good things, she likes the course & has made some friends, she has also become very anxious & lost a lot of self confidence in the transition into uni life. The plan was for her to get a PT job from the start but she found all the changes too much at first , and couldn't cope with job hunting as well, fair enough. But now it's exams, & she's megastressed about them, then she'll be looking for 2nd yr accomm & is v anxious about that...then it'll be exams again! Meanwhile DH has been made redundant & although we try to top up her loan it's going to get tougher now we're down to one income. SO do i push her to get a job, & add to her pressure & anxiety, or not say anything, but let her know we won't be able to help out with money- which will also make her anxious ?
Oh goodness I feel for you both
I think I wouldn't put any pressure in her , if she's finding the first year tough she might drop out if things get more stressful
What I would do is make sure she sees student support, looks into hardship funds and knows about your home situation
Which uni is she out and how much contact time does she have ?
When she goes to student support / pastoral care which I hope she does they might suggest she looks into the uni job shop
They have temp work she could maybe do in the holidays , especially in the library, cafes , or when she gets home in the summer she might feel less anxious and pick up seasonal work ?
Would a job help with her self confidence? You know your DD. Are there any jobs in the JCR for example? I know I was a nervous, never been away from home, Dad very ill and poorly, anxious 18 year old and the job pulling pints in the halls of residence bar gave me the boost I needed as well ax meant I was able to take friends out for a drink (we were paid in drinks tokens which probably isn't legal now 😉). Good luck to you all.
Thanks for the replies. Ive been quite worried about her anxiety levels and have urged her to go to support, but she refuses, says all theyll say is that lots of people struggle at first. Sometimes it seems she's barely coping with studies/looking after herself, so I really worry she won't make time to look for work as well, never mind actually do a job
If she's doing a course that only has about 3 - 9 hrs contact time a week - which seems to be most of them, unless you are doing medicine, a vocational one, or some lab based sciences - then, that really does leave plenty of time to work around learning and looking after yourself, but only you know how this anxiety impacts on her.
Did she work when in the 6th form?
Is she generally confident around other people, etc?
It might well be that if she didn't, and isn't, then this will be very stressful and she might be better working through the Summer when living at home to start her working life.
OTOH, it might be, if she is busier, she a) makes more friends and begins to settle better, and b) has less time to fret about things which then turns into worry and anxiety.
Sorry things are difficult Op.
How much loan does your DD get? Can this be increased now your household income has gone down? Also can she get any financial help from her university?
I have 2 first years and have agreed that they don't need to work during term time - they are expected to work over the summer though. They both have quite a lot of contact hours and both are having to work hard to keep up with the course. As pp have said, some courses are lower contact hours.
Contact Student Finance. I think if the household income decreases by 15% you can ask for a reassessment.
My DD is just about to start her second term (in the States). She has signed up to do 12 hours in one of the dining halls. She doesn't need to, in that we can finance her, but she is desperate to earn some money of her own. And I think that is a good thing. In your case, I would encourage your DD to get a job. There will always be exams on the horizon, but she knew that when she started. She also knew that she would need a part time job when she started.
Could you leave off the pressure for now and do everything you can to help her get a job over the summer holidays? Students can earn quite a lot of money as the holidays are long.
I wouldn't push her personally. My DS had a job in his first term away and he ended up quite low as it was all too much. He gave it up after the first term and was much happier. Once he'd built up confidence he went back to PT work and is fine with it now.
DD started uni in Sept and has anxiety and depression so I haven't pushed her on it. She has just got PT work doing ticket sales for student events and selling shots at the events, but it's very much up to her how much she does. I'm a little sceptical about how much of an earner it is, but it's her choice.
I have 3 at uni and they all tend to use their overdrafts with a view to working intensively through the Summer to pay it off. Not ideal, but an option.
Actually if a student is ,"doing a course that only has about 3 - 9 hrs contact time", it does NOT "leave plenty of time to work around learning". Students on such courses are READING for a degree. Contact time is set to facilitate such work (including assessment). Also, timetables can and do change - paid work is not a reason to miss classes though. There are also tutorials outside of "contact time" (or timetabled classes). I expect my students to see me about their assessed work during this time. I can be flexible, but only in a limited manner with 65 students to accommodate.
This doesn't answer the question directly, but the decision to undertake term (or semester) work should not be based on a myth about "free" time based on a misunderstanding of "contact hours".
It should also be noted that there are regulations about these matters. Students registered on a FT basis at my institution are expected to be available for University purposes 9-6 five days a week. We would not accept the demands of paid work as a reason for a coursework extension either. This can, and does, cause issues with zero hour contract jobs where work can be offered hours in advance.
In short, Summer vacation work is preferable (I did long hous in a factory and vegetable picking). Term time work is fine as long as it is accepted that it does take away from study time and the student in question has to be very well organised to cope with the dual demand.
It's difficult financially but l wouldn't put the extra pressure on her. All ours worked in that first summer and then continued to work through second and third year. The summer, with no other commitments is a great opportunity to get used to working. It does build their confidence. With DS it was the biggest confidence builder of all. It's not too long until first year ends so try and stick it out but do make sure she gets a job in the summer.
Thanks for all these replies. Youve all helped me to decide - I am going to leave it and not pressure her into looking now. Lilac you made a good point about more pressure might be too much & make her think of dropping out. She has about 12 contact hours, but also other cultural & coversation sessions that she's expected-and wants!-to go to (languages) & that's all part of the work, on top of essays etc, so she has a lot of work. We will see her end of Feb , and tell her how things are financiallythen and she can start looking for summer work. Thank you everyone
Just a thought for when she's ready - tutoring school pupils? She could do as few hours a week as she feels she has time for and get a good hourly rate.
Is your family home somewhere that has tourist guides? She might get work as a tour guide using her language skills.
Apologies if all this is irrelevant.
Oops - I didn't mean does your actual family home do tours? Chances of that are pretty slim.
I wouldn't pressure her either. But I think I would gently start introducing the fact that this might not be a sustainable situation other than the immediate future particularly due to her dads redundancy. Although that seems a bit of a contradiction. I think gentle chatting and planting of ideas is the way I'd go.
The first year at uni is a huge adjustment. Both of mine had 25+ contact hours plus assignments. On top of this being away from home, learning to live with others and managing food and shopping. Pressure to find a job on top is not going to help with the stress.
The summer break is long though. It depends where you live as to how difficult it is to find temporary work. Mine both managed to go back to their old part time jobs during holidays but never managed to find full time holiday work.
Unis employ a lot of students on PR stuff. Later in the summer when they have open days there is often casual paid work around. This might be less stressful than trying to fit work around study and exams.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Everyone knows that Georgina1975, but most of us are also aware that - even if a student slept for 8hours a night, that leaves 16hrs per day, x 7 days = 112hrs a week for them to 'fit in' this
mythical 9am-6pm x 5 days a week (45hours).
By my maths, that leaves 67 hours a week to fit in shopping for food, cooking, eating, some travel, going out and socialising, washing (themselves and clothes), sports, which leaves plenty of time for a couple of 4 / 6 / 8 hour shifts in a shop / cafe / car, or some tutoring or lifeguarding or coaching sports or dance / etc., etc. even if you ignore the fact that not that many 1st years will be spending the hours you suggest (again, as I said originally, excepting medics and those vocational students on placements).
Sorry OP - as I said in my first reply, I understand it might not be for your dd, but I just get cross at anyone saying a healthy young person who is studying on the vast majority of university courses doesn't 'have time' to work. There may be other reasons why they can't work, but time isn't one of them <with the caveat I've already said>
We have a daughter doing first year languages. Whilst she might be anxious a job is a good way of becoming adult, gives sense of taking responsibility for self and gives more spending money. The contact hours are not so demanding that a couple of shifts a week are impossible. The routine might actually help,her feel more settled. Push her and if she chooses to give up then was probably too stressful for her anyway. Tell her if she gives up she'll need to find full time job and pay rent.
Rogue she'd love tutor kind of work - thanks for the idea (& tour guide of our family home ) !
Join the discussion
Please login first.