Joining university is cool, perhaps even deserving of an award, especially in this century where population growth is toppling all available resources and opportunities. However, you know what’s much more fulfilling? Starting or securing a part-time job while still in university. Why? Because if you don’t get something to do, you remain vulnerable to limited employment opportunities among other issues.
A bold step into work life while still young prepares you for the harsh life out here and gives you an edge over your peers. To put this into perspective, here are seven reasons why you need to get a hustle while still studying.
1. No Jobs out Here
If you had the illusion that you’ll just study hard get good grades and then people will come and beg to pay you 100k for knowledge and skills, then you are in for a wild ride. That used to happen before 2000. Today you have to trek, knock people’s doors, stalk them on social media and literally pester them to get employed.
Unless you know people or your parents are well connected, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Therefore, will you wait to graduate and start job hunting or will you engage your wits and skills and get something to do as early as possible?
2. The government could care less
One agenda that has been in all politicians manifestos since 1963 is the promise to create jobs. Unfortunately, most of these political celebrities get into office and retire without tackling unemployment.
The government is made up of a bunch of old men and women who don’t understand the 21st-century youth needs and have no practical solutions for their problems. Therefore, you can’t sit down and wait for serikali. Rather, create opportunities for yourself and do it early
3. Is what you are studying really your passion?
Almost all of us follow the same path of life; born, taken to primary school, molded to aspire to be doctors, engineers, and pilots, taught to pass exams and join secondary school, tutored to pass KCSE so that we can join university and pursue a good course then released to hunt for jobs.
Very rarely are we taught to discover and develop our passions. Only the exceptionally good and those with resources get that chance. The rest follow the rat race. Yet the ultimate goal is happiness.
Happiness is not contained in a system. Happiness is unique for each of us and unless you try something out of the system, you might never discover your true purpose. If you discovered your passion in the system, then use the other reasons mentioned to motivate you to find something to do. Also, look for opportunities within your field of liking.
4. You’ve got time on your side
Unless you are a slow learner who wants a first-class, you have enough time in campus to do something on the side. This includes the medicine students at UoN and architecture students at JKUAT.
Three hours per unit for 8 units in a week amounts to 24 hours from Monday to Friday. If you study 4 hours and sleep 8 hours daily, it means you have 45 hours and the weekend to do whatever you want. If you carefully allocate this time on your life priorities, there is so much you can do especially with a side hustle.
5. Grades are not everything.
The recent news broadcast of a UoN Actuarial Science First Class Honors graduate who years after university was still sleeping outside should elicit some questions in your mind. Meanwhile, there are students who by the second year in university are paying their rent and financing part of their education while still getting good grades.
A first-class is off-course wonderful, but a first-class without a career plan is a risk. If you cannot start a side hustle, go connect with people in the industry, help in projects and prove your worth and it might be smooth for you but don’t expect your grades to feed you.
6. The feeling of independence with backup is priceless
What better feeling can you have than when you make good money while your parents still provide for all the crucial expenses? I had a close friend who was living in a one-bedroom fully furnished apartment with a 55 inch smart TV, 50k plus system and a medium size fridge all bought by himself.
His parents catered for his fees, pocket money and rent for a bedsitter they thought he lived in. The guy was making at least 50k a month while a 3rd year; fully independent but with concrete backup. In university, the risks of a failed business venture are minimal because you are still a student. Once you are done, this backup might not be there.
7. Create employment
Online writing has employed thousands of university students giving some of them financial independence even before completing campus. Most of these youths would say it was the best decision they ever made courtesy of the freedom to work from anywhere they want and travel.
Every sector has its fair share of opportunities and if well exploited, one can employ themselves and tag other young people along. Young people are shying away from the 9-5 work routine because they want to live when they are still energetic. Off course entrepreneurship is not for everyone but if you have the guts to try it, do it.