So, you’re thinking about going to university, but you aren’t sure what the best options are for you.
There are so many 'life' things that can get in the way of work and study, it can be really difficult deciding whether or not a full-time or part-time workload is best for you.
Both full-time and part-time study have their pros and cons, so we’ve broken it down for you, to help make the decision a little lighter.
Pros of studying full-time
The most obvious benefit of studying full-time is the time it takes to complete your degree.
Most courses last for a maximum of three to four years if you complete them at a full-time pace, which means not only can you get your degree faster, but you can also start working towards your dream career a little earlier than your part-time peers.
While it is an option to complete internships and part time/casual work in your preferred field while you study, completing your studies full-time will allow you to start applying for full-time employment sooner.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have too many financial commitments right now and can afford to not work while you study, taking on a full-time uni load can be an excellent way to fill some of your extra time.
As a full-time, student, you also get the benefit of fully immersing yourself into university life.
You’ll get to spend more time on campus making stronger bonds with your university friends, attending more events and joining more clubs.
In the same way, you will also get more one on one time with your tutors and professors.
This will give you the benefit of getting to know them and accessing more feedback, tips and study help when you need it.
If you have recently lost work or your hours at work have been reduced, it can be a great opportunity to speed up your university process by studying full-time.
Sometimes life gets in the way of work and availability but upping your study load can be the way to make the best of a bad situation.
Cons of studying full-time
On the flip side, there are some cons to studying full-time that may affect you.
One of the most common reasons someone may choose to study part-time over full-time is so they can support themselves, and potentially others, financially.
With a full-time university workload, you may still be able to work part-time or on a casual basis, but it might not be enough to support you and your lifestyle.
With full-time study also comes a heavier workload which for some students can mean too much stress.
In a lot of cases, the amount of work, study and life that happens can become too much for a single person to deal with. When this happens it’s important to acknowledge these challenges and do what you can to make the load easier for you.
It is always okay to step down from something that is causing you stress, which is why full-time study isn’t always the best option for some people.
Full-time study also often requires you to spend a lot more time on campus doing more practical work or physically attending lectures.
If you’re someone who lives really far away from campus or you prefer to study alone, physically making it to class on such a regular basis can get quite tough.
Pros of studying part-time
In contrast, the most obvious benefit to studying part -ime is the extra time and freedom you have on your hands.
This is an awesome advantage if you’re wanting or needing to work more hours, or to pick up a full-time job.
If you’re someone with kids or a partner and you’re hoping to spend more time with them, part-time study gives you that extra time to spend with family.
A part-time workload is also a lot less intensive than a full-time workload. As mentioned before, if you struggle with stress or managing lots of different jobs at once, part-time study is a great way to ease that feeling while achieving your goals.
While online study is often an option, you may have some practical classes that require you to physically be on campus to learn. Part-time studies can be super beneficial if you live quite a distance away from campus and aren’t too keen on making the trek too frequently.
Cons of studying part-time
As you would expect, the biggest downside to studying on a part-time basis is that it takes a lot longer for you to get your degree.
Most full-time workloads consist of four units per semester, usually taking no longer than four years to complete.
With the units halved on a part-time study load, it could take you double the time to complete your degree.
With this can often come a small case of FOMO (fear of missing out).
Watching all your full-time peers finish their studies, graduate and move on to employment can be a bit of a downer if you’re still at uni.
The drawback that isn’t often considered is whether part-time studies are even available at your university.
Some universities may not offer part-time commitments or not offer certain units to part-time students, so before you decide, make sure to do your research on what options are actually available.
Take the time to consider your university's options and the kind of workload you can take on so that you can have the best experience and make the most out of your studies.
Even with all these pros and cons to weigh up its important to remember to go with what you think is best for you and your future.