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The start of university is an exciting time for all students, although it can be a little nerve racking at the same time. Meeting new friends, studying new courses, considering the future and balancing existing family and friend commitments are all part of the experience of starting an undergraduate programme.

For some students the temptation of a new social life can be too much to resist but they find that the loan they took out to cover the day to day costs soon runs out. A part time job often seems the answer and of course we all know that future employers like to see students having over commitments on their CV other than just studying. However; this is when the hard decisions start to appear. What is the opportunity cost of taking a part time job? Are there enough hours in the week to study and achieve those high grades that future employers also insist on? Can family and long term friend commitments be kept? If a part time job isn’t found how much will the overdraft cost to survive the rest of the term? Although not all of these questions can be given numeric answers they all have some kind of opportunity cost because the choice to do one things means something else can’t be achieved.


Studying at university is reported by many people to be one of the best experiences of your life but don’t under estimate the difficult decisions that have to be taken and the art of balancing what is needed today with your future dreams can often be more difficult than it first seems.