Tab’s new features editor discusses the pitfalls of misspent industry.

Tired, stressed, rushed off my feet and juggling my jobs and studying. This was me all of last year.

I pushed myself to my limits during my first year at university, being a McDonalds worker and a café waitress as well as attending university 12 hours a week and fitting in my assignments and my essays. How I managed it? I don’t even know! I quit McDonalds this year  and I’m in uni only 6 hours a week – even at the end of an hour long lecture I’m complaining!

I was working at the café for around 5 months before I carelessly decided to apply to McDonalds. Living in halls, I felt that I was spending too much time lazing around watching BBC iPlayer and eating my body weight in biscuits. After getting this job, which was – may I add – a 30 minute cycle away, I had absolutely no time for biscuits and iPlayer… I would finish McDonalds during the week at midnight and have an early lecture the next morning, usually results in skipping my lectures to catch up on extra sleep then going to work that evening. And what’s more, when I did socialise with my friends I would be stingey and not even spend the money that I earned! I am surprised that I had time to get close to my uni friends, thankfully I did because I don’t think I would have been able to cope last year with my high stress levels without having them to vent to! They always told me to put university work first and that I was over committing to jobs, but I thought I was invincible and ignored their worries.

With as much studying as I could fit in (and a bit of luck) I somehow managed to pass all my exams and before moving back home to Glasgow for the summer I quit my job at McDonalds. I knew I wanted to keep my café job because I enjoyed the job as well as being treated better with benefits such as free meals, tips, experience and the ability to relax and converse with customers, compared the chaos that was McDonalds!

This year I have joined societies, kept ONE job – as well as a little club PRing job on the side, but that isn’t much commitment so I won’t count that as a job, and have so far stayed ahead of my reading (let’s see how long I keep that up…) But after my first year of university I remembered one thing, I moved away from home to university for the social aspect and a degree, not to work away all my time in a job I don’t enjoy. I know it’s only week 3 of second year but I am so much happier than last year. What was I thinking last year?!!?