Budgeting and getting a part-time job
College students often find that there are hidden expenses they may not have experienced when at school. For example, you could be at the age where you’re thinking about starting your driving lessons, you may need more clothes now that you don’t wear a school uniform Monday to Friday, or you might have to pay extra travel costs. You may even be hoping to treat yourself to a holiday with your college friends once you finish AS or A-levels. As long as you have a handle on your time management, there’s no reason why you can’t get a part-time job while at college to pay for these extra costs. This will also help you start to stand on your own two feet and give you a growing sense of independence. There are various weekend jobs you could apply for – from high street stores to cafés and restaurants; just make sure you don’t commit yourself to too many hours – 10-12 hours should be plenty, and you could ask your manager if it is possible to reduce your hours during the busy exam time.
Starting college comes with a fair few upfront costs, and this includes core reading material. Many students find that they spend more than expected on extras such as books and art materials. Look online and talk to your tutors and fellow students about which books are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves. The books that will help you get the best results are worth investing in, and don’t forget that you should be eligible to a discount once you have received your NUS card. You can also make good use of the library for extra reading material.
It goes without saying that you need to be organised at college if you want to stay on top of your work. But what’s the best way to do this? Start by getting organised with the little things; make sure you have all the correct stationery, including folders, pens and any other specialist equipment you may need for your chosen subjects. Have clear planners and calendars so that you can properly schedule your work. Many students recommend using different coloured pens for each subject, meaning they are clearly identifiable on your schedule.
Are you or your teenager starting college this year? Let us know how you’re preparing in the comments box below.
Take a look at our education page for books, workbooks and other resources to help you through college.