The Student Room Group

Is A Levels and uni more stressful than working?

Original post by Anony345533

It depends on the job, subject, and what you find stressful.

In my experience, A Level is more cognitively taxing whereas work is more physically exhausting. In jobs, you would usually do a lot of the basic routines 80-90% of the time and you would be using less than 10% of what you have learned at university or college.
I found A Levels more difficult than degrees, but then again it can depend on the specific subject. Most people would agree though that degrees are more relaxing than A Levels (even if you do a PhD), which can be intensive and would really push your mental limit. I have never found an occasion where the material I learned at university was more stressful than the time I had to perform in any of my A Levels.

Having said that, if you find your job or subject boring and overly simple, that would add to the toll. If you do or study something you don't hate, you would naturally find things easier.
Original post by Anony345533

Hi there :smile:

This really depends on many factors such as:

- The subject you study/which year you are in
- The job you are comparing it to e.g. is it a remote job, is it a 9-5 or are hours flexible
- Individual differences - e.g. what you find stressful and how you cope with stress

Hope this makes sense!

-Uni of Kent Rep
Reply 3
For most people, no.

Great question!

Yes, I think so. I think the only thing that makes work more stressful is if you are working with difficult people!

You do not learn about work politics when you study, but it exists, it is real, and can make work places really challenging! I think that is the thing that shocked me most about work.

With work, you know that you have to do your hours and then you're done. Typically, you don't have to do additional work at home. With uni, you have lectures and seminars that ideally you should prepare for during the week and then work or revision to do after those lectures and seminars. You are likely to have to do some work over the weekend, so you don't have defined hours like a job. With a job, you know that once you're done for the day, you are done!

A' levels are intense, but I don't think they are more exhausting than work.

University terms go really quickly so you have less time than you think to get things done, but you have long holidays and normally you are not in every day of the week, so you can plan/manage your time.

Work is definitely less stressful if you work with good people and have defined hours. You also have the economic freedom to do more when you are not working, unlike students who generally don't have much money or who are learning (sometimes the hard way) to budget.

Uni is intense, but is offset by societies, events, the atmosphere and people around you, who are all trying to help each other rather than competing with you to get ahead which happens in work places.

I think studying at uni helps with independence and life skills (communication, managing finances, organisation, planning etc) whereas work teaches you more about people and how to work with different personalities. Both are learning curves!

All the best,

Oluwatosin 2nd year student University of Huddersfield
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Anony345533

Hey there @Anony345533 !
I think this completely depends on the course, job and subjects you're referring to. As someone who doesn't like exams and hates revising for them, yes working would probably be less stressful than A-Levels. However, when I was picking my university course, I opted to choose a course that was assessed on coursework rather than exams because it was more suited to me. If it was based on the course I'm doing now then I'd definitely say working is more stressful than uni. I'm currently on my placement year at university so i'm basically working full-time at the moment and I would say it's more stressful than working. However, a placement year is probably the best thing I've ever chosen to do and I'm learning so much whilst putting everything I've learned on my course into practise. It's completely dependent on what you personally find stressful and what sort of course you were looking at. I imagine a STEM subject, solely assessed on exams would be quite stressful but an excellent challenge with good benefits from a degree in that area. I was able to manage 2 part-time jobs alongside my degree in second-year but that's purely because my lectures were squished together on my timetable and I had quite big gaps of free time but every timetable and course is different.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU

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