You probably wish you were as happy as this little pig right now, but, after stressing about residence payments and tuition deadlines, none of us really are. This is without even considering our OSAP loans or textbook costs! Despite all the hard work and diligence our parents may have put into building our RESP’s, we could always use a extra spending money.
Most of the advice you are going to get is to settle into school before thinking about a part-time job. But wouldn’t it be even harder to settle into employment half way through the semester while you’re cramming for midterms? If you aren’t completely overwhelmed already, I would suggest updating your resume and start job hunting very very soon.
This was the exact time last year that I got hired at my current part time job. I was asked for an interview on the spot and was able to complete my initial training before the school year had even started. The truth is, this is when employers are hiring for part-time positions. In a job like mine, where a large percent of our employees are students, many employees are leaving either to focus on school or to move out of town. Managers are aware of this and are hoping to train prospective employees before the others leave.
Your education should come before a part-time job, but I also believe that a bit of financial security and time management will decrease stress later on. After all, you can always request to book off Reading Week. Having a job during my senior year of high school helped me to make homework time count and eliminated procrastination. It also helped immensely with expenses such as prom, summer trips and of course my fall tuition, which eliminated the need for me to borrow from my parents, or miss out on great experiences.
A good balance would be to work between 10-15 hours a week, depending on your availability and course load. During interviews, make it clear to the manager your goals and your need for flexibility. Any good employer should be able to compromise for you. Focusing on school is certainly a great dream for us all, but the reality is that we need money for groceries, hobbies and to carry out a social life essential to our well being.