Every reason why bar jobs are the perfect jobs for students

Free drinks? Yes please


Listen, if it were up to me, and right now I really, really wish it was (I'm looking at you, the state of British politics), university would be free and our student loans would cover our rent and living expenses. But university isn't free, it's the absolute antithesis of free, it costs a lot of fucking money, and guess what, student loan doesn't cover rent and living expenses either. University!

So, what do you do when you need money? Get a job. I realise I sound like my Dad, standing in the doorway to my bedroom, staring at 16-year-old me, surrounded by a mist of Lynx Africa and the teenage sweat it was failing to cover up, as I played FIFA for what seemed to be the longest time of my life, my puberty-moustached top lip quivering as I, Dan Burns, led Watford to the Premier League title on "Professional" difficulty.

"Daniel," he would say, "It's time you got a job."

I did not get a job.

"No, Dad, no."

When I got to university, however, boy did I get a job. It was the perfect excuse to make a bit of money to, you know, live, but also provided the perfect excuse to procrastinate further and not do any uni work. Living AND procrastinating? What a life!

The job I got was a bar job, specifically in an events venue that did not care that I had no bar experience, or any job experience at all, and was happy for me to make a fool of myself in front of customers. Looking back, it was the best job I could've gotten.

Bar jobs are perfect for students. The hours are flexible for one. This may come as a surprise, but most of the general public do their drinking in the evening. Weird, right? So most of your shifts on the bar will come in the evening and night. That means you have all day to go to uni, or not go to uni, go to the library, or not go to the library. You can watch Come Dine With Me, nurse your hangover, scan the reduced section at the supermarket, literally anything you usually do in the daytime other than something productive, and then go to work and further your non-university activities.

It justifies staying up until 2am watching a Vine compilation we've all seen before because you've just gotten home and your knees hurt (they will hurt), and it's the perfect excuse to lay in bed without feeling guilty. You can come home late and it not be because you're drunk carrying a pizza? Crazy.

It's also a great social atmosphere on a bar. If you can find somewhere where other students work, it's a great chance to meet new people who you may not usually socialise with, i.e. someone outside of your flat or your course or random people you've met at pre-drinks and added on Facebook only to never ever speak to them again.

I, a Sheffield Hallam student whilst at uni, met a number of University of Sheffield students through working in a pub, a number of them I class as my closest friends, and guess what – that has nothing to do with the A Levels I got. Take that, UCAS!

Obviously, drink is involved. Some places won't give you free drinks at the end of the night, so don't get your hopes up. But a lot of places do offer staff drinks on some occasions, and you never know, customers might buy you drinks if you're lucky. You're never going to get blind drunk, that would be unprofessional and getting drunk in front of your boss may/will lead to trouble. But having a drink whilst breaking down the bar after closing is always fun. Unless you don't drink, in which case help yourself to the most luxurious soft drink they sell. There's also the off chance of tips, but that depends on whether you're a people person. Which I am not.

It can also be pretty relaxed. Again, this may be different for some places, but a lot of pubs and bars aren't as strict as The Ritz, so being a little tired and stressed and off your game isn't the end of the world. In the past I've been able to take a little uni work along in case it's really dead, but always check first whether it's okay. I once did all of my reading for the week in one incredibly dead four hours at work. And I got paid for it.

Maybe I've just been lucky. Maybe every place I've worked in has just been incredibly lax with the rules and we're also just alcoholics in employment. All I know is, getting a bar job at university was the best decision I made, and you should absolutely do it too.