Part time jobs help shrug the lazy millennial image

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Will Charley encourages students to get part time jobs to shrug the reputation of being lazy, and get more out of our time at Uni to prepare for the real world of work.

Exams are over, and the Blue Militia are out in force.

Let me clarify, the Blue Militia are the hordes of blue-coated individuals who stand around on Woodland Road and the ASSL with clipboards in hand, looking like grumpy teachers on a field trip to the sewers. They are the ones who will be intentionally in your way and assault you with the words "Do you want a part time job?", said so feebly that they make the zombies in Shaun of the Dead seem like Olympians. Yes, the hecklers of the UoB campus are back.

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Should students do part time jobs, such as at the Co-op? (Epigram / Jake Porter)

But, in spite of their annoying nagging about jobs at 9am on a Monday, they have a point. More students at the University of Bristol should take on part time employment, albeit not by going through the Blue Militia. And here is why.

"Our degrees probably have fewer contact hours in a week than in a normal working day"

For many arts students such as myself, the reality is that our degrees probably have fewer contact hours in a week than in a normal working day. If the average city job is from nine-till-five, that means they are doing two more hours in one day than I have in a whole week. And in first year, it would be a lie to say that students spend the rest of their waking hours doing individual work.

Put simply, for many, and particularly first years, there is plenty of time for students to take on a part time job and earn a little bit of money. Perhaps even more pressingly, some students may find themselves physically incapable of filling the vast void of time with nothing to do, and chances are that carrying out a job is going to be more productive than succumbing to re-watching The Office for the third time.

"By getting a part time job, students would be showing the public that we are not simply pathetic individuals who rely on the family fund for money"

However, students should not simply be getting a job purely as a means of procrastination. If you pick up a national newspaper anytime soon, I can pretty much guarantee that some oldie-columnist with nothing to do is ripping into students, whether about being snowflakes, for moaning about our tuition fees, or even about how 'in their day', they just got on with it.

By getting a part time job, students would be showing the public that we are not simply pathetic individuals who rely on the family fund for money, but that we are capable, resourceful and independent, and can add value to the community that we live in.

And that is another thing. A popular criticism of students is that we are stuck in our 'uni bubble'- the notion that the UoB campus could be put on Mars and drained of ordinary people, and most of us would not notice. However, in getting a job, students would be actively engaging with those outside of the university, and providing a service for ordinary Bristolians, whether by serving cups of coffee or stacking the shelves of the Clifton Sainsbury's. Sure, it might not be as altruistic or as influential as helping Bristol's homeless or volunteering at a charity, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction.

This may all seem a bit obvious, and in all honesty, it is.

Yet, when you ask students why they have not yet got a job, often, the thought has simply evaded them. Bristol students have the capacity to engage so much more in the city itself, and with the number of contact hours so low, there is no excuse not to make the most of the opportunities available.

"No-one is saying that it will necessarily be all that easy, but it is worthwhile"

If you want to be able to afford those extra VKs in the club or get that Telegraph writer to stop stating that our generation is lazy, then pop into town, and get a part time job. No-one is saying that it will necessarily be all that easy, but it is worthwhile.

Ultimately, to lose the reputation of being self-entitled, narcissistic alcoholics, students should take on part-time jobs and prove to the nation that we are so much more.

Featured image: (Unsplash / Jordan Whitfield )


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Will Charley

Comment Editor 2018/19 | Deputy Online News Editor 2018 | Second year history student | Shortlisted nationally by the SPA for Best News Story

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