Advice needed from Uni students!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Soppy, May 26, 2005.

  1. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
    I am about to sit my final A2 exams. Until now I have never been employed, but I have got to get a job over the summer for money.

    But the shops may want to know what I can commit to in the other holidays (i refuse to work in term time). So I was wondering how much (academic!) work you have to do in the holidays. Roughly the kind of expectations. I know it will vary from course to course, uni to uni, but an estimate will be fine.

    I should be going to Cambridge to do Law, so anybody is there doing a law degree, any other degree, or is doing a Law degree elsewhere, it'd be great to hear from you!

  2. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    South London
    I'm doing engineering at Warwick (one of the great oxbridge dropout unis) and usually in the holidays I've got about a 5 days of work and reading to do in total, so I tend to cram it into 3 at the end... Anyway, from the law students I know, most of their extra work is reading, which can be done in the evenings, and a couple of essays.

    Also, don't worry about doing too much this summer before you get to uni, just do a bit of background reading if you want a headstart, but I learnt pretty much no theory in the year and a half between my a levels and uni, and I think I'm doing ok. Enjoy the break!
  3. Nuke

    Nuke Active Member

    Again im not doing Law.
    But with my degree from Liverpool (genetics) it was basically a case of about a month before uni started they sent us a reading list for books they recomended for the modules you were doing in the next year. In the third year that turned into papers they recomended and where you could get copies from. It is just reading around the subject normally.
    You are better getting a job and earning because you can still do what little you might have to do at night, or on the weekends.
  4. Jamie

    Jamie Member

    Cornwall/ Nottingham

    I'm not doing law, nor am I at a redbrick uni, which makes a huge difference. However, I do know some people that are!! Bluebottle on here (Rach, have you vanished?!) is at Oxford doing something brainy and appears to do an awful lot more work than I'm expected to! Have also got a good friend at St. Andrews who's reading psychology. As far as I'm aware they were both given reading lists etc. and seem to do a lot more work that isnt for formal assessment. The only essays I've been asked to produce have been counted towards my degree, whereas theirs seem to occur a lot more frequently and just for the fun of it!

    In general, this seems to ensure that you're actually doing the extra reading- I, on the other hand, have been left to read at leisure, and if I don't do it I don't get good marks... but its left entirely up to me... Seems many more students benefit from the continual assessment as it forces them to read- lots more pressure though.

    As for working, if you're expected to keep up as they have been, working in term time is probably best avoided, and I can understand why you wouldn't want to if you can afford it. I have only 8 hours contact time, and am not subjected to this kind of assessment, so I manage working 20-25 hours quite easily most of the year, and drop a couple of shifts around assessment time. (And no, my degree isn't suffering for it- its all in the planning!)

    Working in the holidays, however, is far easier, and is almost a necessity in most cases. Over the summer, unless you're completing a dissertation, for example, you'll be given mostly reading, so thats easy to fit around a job. Christmas and Easter is always right before assessment time so its worth checking how much you'll need to do before you launch into working too many hours, but there's no reason why you shouldn't work if you plan your time carefully. My advice would be to tell your employer that you want to take on some part time shifts but may need to increase or decrease your hours accordingly when you really know how much academic work you have to do. Most employers are pretty reasonable when it comes to students. They dont pay too well, but most understand that your degree will always come first, and will try to accommodate you before they see you quit. (If this sin't the case, there are always plenty of places willing to take students on, so find a nice employer!!)

    Anyway, the general message in all that was, work by all means, and explaining your situation to your employer will win you brownie points. Careful planning and realistic ideas of how much you can get done in a fixed time are crucial... but then so is having a bit of beer money at the end of the week. Don't let your studies suffer for the sake of a snakey-B though... but then if you're going to Cambridge, I hardly need to tell you that!

    Hope that made sense, and good luck!!:D
  5. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
    Thanks for the replies

    I got turned down by Warrick though :(

    edit: possibly because I couldn't spell it!!
  6. persins

    persins Member

    Reading, England
    I did History at Exeter and there wasn't a great deal of holiday work until the last year while doing the disappointment (dissertation). My Ex did Law at Bristol though and spent nearly her whole life working (studying) even in the holidays. She did get a 1st though. It is all about what sort of degree you want at the end of the day. If you are satisfied just scrapping through, then obviously, you can get away with doing less work. On the other hand, considering you are likely to go to Cambridge, I would guess that is not really an option. I would say, have a ****** good summer this time as it will probably be your last proper one of freedom!! You will probably be ok to do a fair amount of paid work in the first couple of years but rein it back in towards the final year. I would definitely try and get into a law firm though, even as an office admin type thing as it may then help you to get a training contract at the end of it, if you're not thoroughly ****ed off with law by that time!!!
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