Hey. So I’m a student. What goes through your mind when I say student? Late night parties? Lots of alcohol? Does a lot of homework? Gets discount off ASOS? Lazy…?
It got me thinking at work. I often get told “god if you’re knackered at your age then wait til you get to my age”, or “oh you don’t understand, I’ve gotta go home and put the kids tea on and…” – you get the picture. But something which always gets assumed of me if that I have an easy life. That after a four hour shift at work I put my feet up and go out partying. I get various smarmy comments from staff saying “it’s not fair why does the student get lots of shifts”, like just because they’re an adult, they are entitled to all the shifts they want. Truth is, I don’t pick them. I take whatever I can because I need the money. I want to work because I am so financially hard off as a student.
I personally do not agree with that I’m lazy. The staff at work don’t completely understand what goes on in my life, so why are they so quick to judge me?
So I’m a student. I have a heavy workload. I’m training to be an AHP unpaided with long full time placements where I also work on my weekends too. I don’t just have one job, I have two. I take any hours I can just to be able to pay my rent each month. I travel up and down the country every week, often for work or university. I have to look after myself. After 12 hours at work I have to clean up and tidy and cook and study, often with little support or no one at all. I blog. I write, run social media accounts and take photos for my little platform. I have admin duties and emails to take care of. I need to look after my health, I exercise when I can. And I make sure I see friends at least once a week. Or even a text or a phone call if time is short.
At the same time I have no free time for me, but then all this work is for me. People judge me like I’m not progressing. All my friends are getting full time jobs and their own flats and families. Here I am in bucket loads of debt, just waitressing and working in retail. I haven’t got my own place, I still rely on my parents, I don’t have a boyfriend or a pet. I’m still like 17 year old me. So many people expect 22 year old me to have it together.
But do you know what, I do have it together. Slowly but surely, all this hard work will finally pay off and I’ll get to where I want to be. Whether it be in my 20s, 30s or even later, people need to stop assuming students are lazy. I’ll get there one day in my own pace. I work very hard and hopefully one day that’ll pay off.
Emma is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Associate Nutritionist based in Cheshire, England. Emma works in community healthcare and writes freelance alongside her work: topics including Dietetic life, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. Emma also writes and photographs recipes for the platform, as well as being the author of the ‘Mummy and Me’ series for SR Nutrition. Emma’s Food Stories is PR friendly brand.