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‘I finish nightshift at 8am and start uni at 9’: Meet the RGU fourth year who’s never had a student loan

‘People say they couldn’t do it, but I don’t see it as an optional thing’


Micheal Olorode is a fourth year biomedical science student at RGU who has made it all the way through his degree without a student loan. He grew up in London so that means paying for tuition fees on top of rent, bills, books, food and that all important social life.

We found out just how he does it without losing his mind and his top tips on saving your dollaz as a busy student.

So Micheal, talk me through a busy day for you.

My busiest days are probably Saturday, Sunday and Monday cause that’s when I do nightshifts in Sainsbury’s. I finish Sunday nightshift at 8am on Monday morning then start uni at 9, I’m there until about 2pm, after that I’ll go home and sleep a few hours, hopefully head to the gym, then get home and have food and study before starting my next nightshift at 10pm. From Tuesday onwards my schedule is pretty normal, I study and have uni classes.

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Why Sainsbury’s? Was it the money, location?

I was really just looking for the best money I could earn for the limited hours I have to work as a student. I didn’t want to work too much as it’s my final year and I want time to both work hard and enjoy it, so nightshift seemed like a good option. I worked in my local Sainsbury’s at home over summer so I had a good idea of what the job would be like. I have a car now but I didn’t when I started so I needed somewhere that was easy to get to so I didn’t waste time walking there.

What does the money you earn tend to go towards?

I don’t really bother with lavish or unnecessary things, so it goes directly towards rent, which is around £500 per month, bills, my car and groceries, then if I have any left over I’ll save it or spend on social things with friends.

I’ve lived in Aberdeen for four years and don’t think I know anyone who pays that much for rent, how is yours so expensive?

To be honest I think it’s a decent deal for what I’ve got! I’ve lived with people in the past but I’m living alone this year, my flat is right off Union Street so very central and convenient. My sister boards at a school nearby so I needed somewhere close to a bus stop that she’d be able to get to directly from her school.

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What are your go-to supermarkets for the best deals?

I tend to stick to Asda and Aldi for my weekly shops, they’re both decent.

Do you ever regret going to uni up here now you have such a busy schedule?

No I don’t, because I know it’s what I have to do to reach my final goal of becoming a physiotherapist. It wasn’t really an optional thing for me. The thing is, no one is forcing me to do this, to be at uni, I am doing it because I want to, and if I didn’t want to I would just stop.

Has it gotten easier over the years? Have you gotten into the flow of working at studying all the time?

Yeah, I’m in fourth year now so I’ve been doing it for a while. I used to work in Next so the physical job has changed, but otherwise my schedule and workload has been similar every year. People say they couldn’t do it, but again I don’t see it as an optional thing, this is what I have to do to reach my end goal so I will do it, and I’m used to it by now.

What’s your favourite way to spend your free time? If you have any that is!

I like listening to music and watching YouTube, but I’d say my favourite thing to do is go to the gym, and I try to make time every day to do that. Otherwise I obviously like spending time with my friends, but when we get together I prefer going to someone’s house to going out. My friends have gotten so used to me saying I can’t make things over the years, they understand how busy I am, so they’re really good with it.

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Do you have a favourite place to go in Aberdeen, like a bar or something?

Again the place I go most often is probably the gym! I do go out and will eat out sometimes, but I prefer going to friends’ houses, we all save money that way too. One place I do like is the ice cream place Baskin Robbins, it’s pretty chill.

What are your best tips for busy students?

I’ve defintitely gotten better with time management over the years and it has saved me many a time. I used to think I was invincible but quickly realised I was not, and it was actually my girlfriend who got me into writing to-do lists. Sounds obvious, but writing down everything you need to do in a day, whether that be doing laundry, emailing someone, revising for an exam, seriously helps. Finishing a day with everything ticked off gives you such a sense of accomplishment too. We are under so much pressure at students, but everyone has their own things they need to get on with and everyone works in different ways. I always just remember that the hard work is all just a process of getting to the final goal at the end.