Students In A Workplace

Students have an easy life. University starts at ten o’clock and ends at three. On the weekends they don’t have to learn or prepare. This is not quite true. As a law student here in Switzerland we have often courses from eight to five. However, we are able to shift those lectures and then we may have one or two afternoons off. Although having a lot of free time we end up studying for the next lessons and start writing our summaries so that when the exam season comes we can invest more time into the learning process.

But who has it easier and a more stress-free time? A student or an office worker? As I’ve experienced both to some extent I would love to have a closer look with you .

The Sunny Side Of Being A Student

I really appreciate that we are able to organise our free time as we wish. It’s no problem for us to take one afternoon off. We can plan our activities easily around all the courses we need to attend. We can sleep in if we want to. With all the free time we have, we can go partying on a Friday night and do a lot of sports.

The Other Side Of Being A Student

Although we seemingly have a lot of free time we need to stay in the library in order to either rework the lessons or prepare some upcoming ones. However, one has to differentiate between some students: if you belong to the genius ones – lucky you! You probably have a lot of freedom and you hardly need to study. However, if you belong to those who are hard workers and can only master their studies with a lot of diligence then you need to set your priorities straight. Less free time and more learning.

But there’s one thing all students have in common, no matter how a genius you are: when the exams move closer and closer we all barricade ourselves either in the library or in our own rooms in order to study and prepare well for the tests. And this stressful time period last about two months. And this whole procedure occurs twice a year. So January, May, June, and December I’m quite useless or in other words, I’ll have just half of my weekend left as I need to invest either a Saturday or Sunday for studying.

What Happens When A Student Starts Working?

A big question with quite a short answer: The student is totally exhausted at the end of a normal workday. I’m experiencing this first-hand. A week ago I started my internship at a court and although the tasks are not as mentally challenging like solving a crime case or learning a bunch of elements of offence, it’s still difficult. In the evenings I’m really tired and the only thing I’m able to do is to cook dinner, eat it, watch some television and then go to bed. A student’s life differs a lot from the one of a clerk. Mainly because the schedule of a student varies completely from one of an office worker. We students have the choice how to organise our free time and when we would like to squeeze a learning session in.  As somebody who works from eight to five or sometimes even longer they simply don’t have the freedom to choose when they would love to work. They are bound to the opening hours of their company.

At Least You Have Your After-Work Hours And Weekends

Whenever I start an internship I appreciate that I don’t have to waste any time or thoughts on work when I leave the office. However, this was the case for my first internship, almost three years ago in the quality and project management department. I was most of the time able to forget my work whenever I came home and on the weekends I rarely wasted a thought on it.

This time, it’s a little bit different. Working at a court you’ll be confronted daily with difficult cases of attempted murder, insurance fraud, arson and so on. Dealing with such cases or preparing a verdict where you have to tell a heavily indebted person that he’s not in the right and has to pay even more is not something for sensitive people. Whenever I come home my brain is still overthinking possible legal option in order to help the weaker defendant or in some cases the plaintiff. On weekends I think about the poor teenage mother who lives completely on welfare and the father of the child rejects his own son with such a great coldness. And not to forget, the arsonist who probably lightened up his own car who will not get punished because he doesn’t fully fulfil the elements of offence.

Concluding, I guess it’s difficult to say for sure who, a student or an office worker, has it easier or more relaxed. I suppose it depends on the studies you pursue and on the job you have.

However, let me know what you think? Have you experienced both situations? And if yes, which one did you prefer?


3 thoughts on “Students In A Workplace

  1. As someone whose been to college – twice (AAS, BS) and has done my 20+ year career thing, I like being retired. College wasn’t hard for me, wasn’t stressful, never missed an assignment. Working? My job came with stress being a computer systems engineer; a server goes down, a thousand people are raising all kinds of hell about it almost at the same time, supervisors are asking what happened and demanding you get it back online yesterday… and you haven’t even figured out why it broke yet.

    And that could be several times a day, any given day and while people take off on the weekend, computers don’t – they keep running and if they’re running, they can break then multiply that by 21 years of doing it.

    Makes college look like a walk in the park, doesn’t it? Teachers push you to excel and succeed; employers push you to fail, expect you to do the most with the least and, sometimes, less money than your degrees say you’re actually worth – then toss you aside like a used paper towel.

    Almost made me wish I’d become a professional student – but I wouldn’t have learned anything about living because we still have to learn by doing – some things cannot be taught in a classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It can teach you what can be done, a lot of ways to get it done… but you still gotta do it. For example, a man and a woman gets married (no school or degree in how to be a husband/wife), she’s gets pregnant, they start taking parenting classes, and learn a lot about raising children before their child is even born.

        Actually raising that child is seriously a different animal; by the time the Terrible Twos arrive, they realize that all that studying they did ain’t helping them one bit.


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