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Should I volunteer & keep a part-time job during sixth form

Hi all,
I was thinking would it be possible for me to have a part time job & volunteer in a care home whilst studying biology, chemistry & psychology A levels at sixth form?

Or do you think it will negatively affect my grades, I've completed my first term of sixth form & have had a part time job (8 hrs per week), so far it hasn't seemed to affect me but I've heard that my A levels are going to get way harder so I'm not sure if I should do some volunteering on top of that. (I'm also part of a research group that has a 2 hr min meeting every fornight)

I spoke to a dentist I was shadowing recently, and she was really emphasising that I should do all my extracurriculars/ volunteering/ experience etc in year 12 because in year 13 I should focus on my A levels & it will get too difficult to work on my application on top of that. She also highlighted that its very important that I stand out in my dentistry uni application, so I should do as much as possible in year 12.

I was thinking of doing the volunteering in the summer holidays but then that means I'll have done about 6 weeks of volunteering in a care home which I'm not sure is enough (I know there isn't a requirement but I heard univerisities like to see commitment). So far I'm thinking my summer holidays is the best time to do volunteering.

Any responses are welcome, I'd like to hear some people's experiences of working/volunteering during sixth form
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 1
Original post by 234532dsd32
Hi all,
I was thinking would it be possible for me to have a part time job & volunteer in a care home whilst studying biology, chemistry & psychology A levels at sixth form?

Or do you think it will negatively affect my grades, I've completed my first term of sixth form & have had a part time job (8 hrs per week), so far it hasn't seemed to affect me but I've heard that my A levels are going to get way harder so I'm not sure if I should do some volunteering on top of that. (I'm also part of a research group that has a 2 hr min meeting every fornight)

I spoke to a dentist I was shadowing recently, and she was really emphasising that I should do all my extracurriculars/ volunteering/ experience etc in year 12 because in year 13 I should focus on my A levels & it will get too difficult to work on my application on top of that. She also highlighted that its very important that I stand out in my dentistry uni application, so I should do as much as possible in year 12.

I was thinking of doing the volunteering in the summer holidays but then that means I'll have done about 6 weeks of volunteering in a care home which I'm not sure is enough (I know there isn't a requirement but I heard univerisities like to see commitment). So far I'm thinking my summer holidays is the best time to do volunteering.

Any responses are welcome, I'd like to hear some people's experiences of working/volunteering during sixth form


Pick either volunteering or working, the workload will massively increase. If you don’t get the minimum 3As prediction, you wasted your time.
Reply 2
Original post by kitty2005
Pick either volunteering or working, the workload will massively increase. If you don’t get the minimum 3As prediction, you wasted your time.

Thanks for the advice, which one would you recommend I keep. Volunteering or my part time job. I'm not sure which one to not do because I need the money from the job to support myself but on the other hand doing volunteering demonstrates stuff like empathy etc
Reply 3
The most important thing is that you get those grades. Predictions, yes, will be important, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't get the grades. Don't jeopardise that. So if you are doing modular A levels and AS in year 12 then it needs more thought than just A2s in year 13.

As a parent not a student, I would say do it now. Squeeze it in if you can and reflect really carefully on what you see /do. You will have very little time to do a lot extra in year 13, with A levels, applications, interviews, mocks etc. It will be full on.

Plus you will need to take a good few weeks to study for UCAT over the summer.

The volunteering in a care home will take some time to organise. With DBS checks etc. Get the ball rolling now, opportunitites may be limited if you are under 18. So start seeing what you can find now. And start now. Then if it gets too much you can reduce your commitments if needed.

It will be very hard to come to the realisation that you haven't done what you need to and then try and squeeze it in during year 13.

However, can you combine the two and get a part time job in a caring environment somewhere? You can get the necessary opportunity for reflection from public facing employment that isn't in a caring / hospital environment. But if you can double up that might help if you are time squeezed.

Good luck.
Reply 4
Original post by 234532dsd32
Thanks for the advice, which one would you recommend I keep. Volunteering or my part time job. I'm not sure which one to not do because I need the money from the job to support myself but on the other hand doing volunteering demonstrates stuff like empathy etc


I would say to get a job but it needs to be flexible. You can still skills like being empathetic through your part time job.

But if you want, volunteer for a bit like for 2-3 months.
Reply 5
Original post by GGIN
However, can you combine the two and get a part time job in a caring environment somewhere? You can get the necessary opportunity for reflection from public facing employment that isn't in a caring / hospital environment. But if you can double up that might help if you are time squeezed.

Good luck.


Hi thanks for the advice, I'm 16 & most of the jobs I've seen in a caring environment require you to be 18+. Do you have any suggestions for jobs in a caring environment which takes 16 yrs old? Again thank you for the advice it's helped clear somethings up for me :smile:

I work as a barista so do you think that could count towards having public skills & empathy as I work with lots of different customers with different needs.
Reply 6
Original post by 234532dsd32
Hi thanks for the advice, I'm 16 & most of the jobs I've seen in a caring environment require you to be 18+. Do you have any suggestions for jobs in a caring environment which takes 16 yrs old? Again thank you for the advice it's helped clear somethings up for me :smile:

I work as a barista so do you think that could count towards having public skills & empathy as I work with lots of different customers with different needs.

Yes! I feel being in a non hospital environment gives you the most exposure

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