Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Alex Ward is back with this third guest post. Enjoy!

This week I'm taking note of the differences between university and work life.

After two months now working for TARGETjobs, I can safely say that in some ways I will consider going back to university to be more of a holiday. The prospect of reckless nights out, followed by lying in bed until I deem it necessary to crawl out from under the covers is, to me right now, a whole world away.

During my second year, a typical day would begin somewhere between 9:00am and 13:00pm. This was often subject to what I call the drunk equation, whereby units of alcohol consumed, plus hours spent partying, plus kebab topped pizza is directly proportional to the number of hours spent in bed the next day. Now however, during the holidays, the variance in the time I get up is significantly reduced – to about half an hour between quarter past seven and quarter to eight. This is dependent upon whether or not I decided to watch American Dad on BBC3 after the Family Guy double.

The thing is – I don’t mind. There were definitely times when I thought to myself late one afternoon at university ‘I could have gotten a lot more out of today’, and it’s true. Having such a routine now, my body is automatically ready to go by about eight in the morning. This means that come Saturday I’ve done all that pesky administration that us students have to occasionally tolerate, before the crack of noon when my peers emerge, dressed in joggers and shielded from the sun by large-framed sunglasses.

To this day I will not forget my friend’s confusion when he saw me up and about the morning after a particularly heavy session on the shandy.

This routine though, of working nine ‘til five (cue Dolly Parton) up until now has been more beneficial than I realised. Rising at a reasonable hour means that I get my ‘Three square meals a day young man’, meaning that my health is a lot better – I’ve had a lot less left over floor pizza to boot. I get a varied and balanced diet, something which I am positive has never occurred whilst studying.

Organisation too is something that, as soon as routine slips into place, is easier than expected. Making time to drunkenly see friends now comes on a Friday evening and at the weekend, with the more sober encounters occurring after work during those long summer afternoons. I admit, that I’m not completely organised – there is still a letter from the student loans company on my desk gathering dust. I’ve taken the attitude to it like I would a fine wine. Leave it for ages in a dark, cool spot and pretend it doesn’t exist for a few years before opening it and wondering what all the fuss was about.

TARGETjobs has opened my eyes in many ways this summer; from teaching me lessons in plain English and email etiquette, to content management and competency-based interview questions. But without a doubt, what I have woken up to the most (no pun intended) is the amount of time I have neglected when I could really have utilised it.

That said, the student union doesn’t start serving until noon anyway.