My first office job – how did I manage to get myself one of these? When applying for an internship, I hadn’t realised how different working life would be in comparison to being a full time student. From waking up early to having a solid income, here are five things I’ve had to adapt to since starting my placement at Pamoja.


After living on a strict student budget for two years, you can imagine it came as a bit of a shock when I received my first month’s pay and managed to spend it all in a week. Let’s just say I had gotten a bit excited. I soon realised that I couldn’t live like that for a whole year and that a new wardrobe every weekend wasn’t essential when saving money was more useful.

Social life

It’s well known that students enjoy a wild social life, however, adapting to working full-time in the city I go to university in was a little difficult. When people start to mention how tired you look, you realise that the late nights need to stop. As well as this, being ill isn’t quite as easy when you are working full time. It’s no longer possible to stay in bed for a few extra hours to help you recover. My newly found remedy is a lot of green tea, rather than 15 hours of sleep and a greasy fry up.

Early awakenings

Even though I did it for five days a week for 14 years at school, after living life as a student for two years, gettting up early sure isn’t easy – especially if you don’t go to bed before midnight. The main thing I have adopted is going to bed earlier to be able to wake up earlier. Concentration can be limited with lack of sleep and I’ve learnt that this is absolutely essential when at work – and trust me, there is only so much coffee can drink! I’ve also been advised to write everything down, as we all know it’s hard to juggle a lot of information at once – those working around me will notice the amount of post-its and notebooks I go through.

Student housing

Living in a student area can be distracting, the noise in the streets until the early hours of the morning and seeing litter everywhere is quite shocking. As well as this, monitoring the bills and making sure they are paid on time (I really do sound like an adult now) is something that I had never had to keep on top of before. Liaising with landords can be challenging at times, but it is all part of growing into adulthood and something that, unfortunately, you can’t hide from.

Still balancing university work

Alongside my internship I must also complete university assignments, keeping within strict deadlines. Juggling deadlines at work and deadlines at university has been challenging, however completing assignments parallel to my internship is showing me just how much I am learning, and that all the hard work is worth it.

These five things have made me appreciate the differences between working life and university life. I am grateful I am learning and experiencing these things while still at university, so when I graduate I will approach working life at a more experienced level.

Thank you for reading,



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