Skip navigation and jump to content
Welcome to Ireland's Youth Information Website
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Snapchat

Accessibility Options

High Contrast Text Size

Balancing a part-time job and student life

The positives and negatives of working when you're college


Written by Kat O'Connor and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


Share this article -

Going to college is extremely expensive, whether you’re attending Trinity or Ballyfermot College of Further Education. Your college tuition fees alone can cost up to €3000, and unfortunately not every student in Ireland is entitled to a student grant. The main way to fund a student lifestyle is by taking up a part time job. Most students work in the evening time or on the weekends, however working the evening shift can leave many students feeling exhausted, especially during their 9am lecture the following morning.

There are a variety of different benefits to working part time, such as having your own independence, developing your skills in customer service and communications, and having a constant and stable income. Your wages will help fund your travel expenses, you’ll have plenty of money on your leap card, so luckily you won’t be rummaging in your bag for change when the bus comes along. You’ll also be able to treat yourself to lunch from your favourite cafe, rather than eating the soggy ham and cheese sandwiches that you made at 8am.

However, working part time and being a full time student can be exhausting. Finding the balance between work and college is key, as it will help you avoid stress. An important thing to remember is that college is your number one priority. Your studies are far more important than your part time job in the local pub. Don’t neglect college for the sake of a few extra euros in your bank account at the end of the month. It is okay to say no if you’re offered extra hours. If you have an essay due on Friday morning, don’t do an extra few hours in work on Thursday night, because overworking will have a negative impact on your grades. Try to work on the days that fit well with your schedule, most managers will try their best to work around your college timetable.

It’s important to take time away from work, especially towards the end of college. If you’re working on your dissertation or preparing for exams, take a few days off work. If you’re concerned about having no income during those weeks, opening up a savings account can help. If you save up before you take some time off work you will have a backup fund to help you get by during your break. You may not be earning money for a week or two, or however long you take off, but you will feel a lot more confident and at ease knowing that you invested that time in your studies.

We all need to earn a living, especially during our college years. But we also need to remember to focus on what is more important in the long run.

Share this article -

Published April 20th, 2017
Tags college student work
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

Need more information?

Request to speak with a youth worker in your area over the phone, by email or text. They may be able to assist you by providing further information specific to your needs.

Youth Work Ireland - Crosscare - YMCA

Contact via: Phone E-mail Text
By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions. ​Please note that this service is run by Youth Work Ireland and Crosscare​.​ E​nquiries are not handled by SpunOut.ie directly.
Jump to related articles
Was this article helpful?