Why you should focus on your studies

While it’s a reality of life that you may need to work in Australia to support yourself there, it’s important not to lose sight of your priorities. While studying, you owe it to yourself to focus more attention on your studies than your part-time job. Here are some reasons why.

You have the rest of your life to work, but only limited time as a student

The chances are, you’re only going to be a student for around five years of your life (perhaps more depending on postgraduate study). You have the rest of your life to work and make money. While you may be impatient to fast-forward to the ‘making money’ part, there are so many opportunities that you can only experience while a student. Take the time to explore your interests, join clubs or organisations or sports teams, make strong friendships and professional networks. These are things that are harder to juggle with a demanding part-time job, and are certainly harder to find time for once you’re in the full-time workforce.

The better you do at your studies, the better the job you can find afterwards

While you may be tempted to think that a simple pass will get you your degree, it won’t impress anybody. The job market in Australia is tough, and simply passing will not open doors for a really good job. If there’s something you’re intellectually interested in and excel at, pursue this passion and see it pay off in your grades. Even if you don’t think you’re a High Distinction student (the Australian equivalent of an A+ grade), doing as well as you can in your studies will impress potential employers much more than doing the bare minimum.

You’ve spent a lot of money to study, so make the most of i

Studying in Australia doesn’t come cheap--you’re investing in some of the best education available anywhere in the world. So don’t waste that money. Make the most of the excellent facilities at Australian universities and colleges, and take all you can from the experience.

Part-time jobs rarely advance the higher skills needed to get a well-paid job 

Jobs that students usually do part time involve work such as cleaning or serving in shops and restaurants. While these jobs require some amount of skill, they are not necessarily the skills required by top-tier employers. If you invest so much time into your part-time cleaning job that you neglect your studies, you may never advance to any job much higher than that. It would be a waste of time and money to get to the end of your studies in Australia and be stuck doing work that doesn’t need advanced skills or training.

Visa rules about how many hours you can work change quickly

It’s important that you stay up-to-date with the rules around how many hours per week you’re permitted to work on a student visa. Such rules can change quickly and with little warning. You may end up in a situation where you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into a job, but then need to quit or cut back the number of hours you do.

You may need a reference from your teacher

Many employers will require a letter of reference from someone in authority, such as your lecturer or tutor, before considering you for a job. These people will only be willing to do this for you if you have excelled in class. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need perfect grades, but if you have been an active and enthusiastic participant in your studies, your teacher will have noticed and will be happy to vouch for you. Prioritising your part-time job over your studies will make it very difficult for you to be a fully engaged student.

Being a student is often seen as a means to an end; the end being a good job afterwards. So make sure you give yourself the best possible chances of getting that good job, by being a good student first.