What are your feelings about the summer?

Are you going to work or study? Will it maybe be both, or are you unsure of what’s going to happen? Have you maybe started planning something special, or will you have a period of time where you, on the contrary, do nothing at all?

Something that’s always current with students, in one for or another, except the studies themselves, is work life. Your job, or several jobs, may exist on the side of your studies, or maybe your studies are happening on the side of your work life. It’s not unusual that roles shift, or that both coexist. The job’s meaning to a student may also change, but the ideal for many is probably that the job preferably would be within the same branch as your studies, since some of the most important reasons (to work) are to develop skills for your career or to move closer toward your own career goals. (TEK 2020, Eurostudent VI 2018)

There are both pros and cons to working and studying at the same time. Best case scenario, your job can increase your motivation to study, contribute by heightening your learning skills and function as support for your educational performance. On the other hand, too heavy of a workload can have a negative effect on a student’s energy, motivation and pace of their studies. (Eurostudent VI 2018) Many also generally work to increase their income, and manpower is usually needed during the holiday season, which in many branches means the summer months. (SYL 2019) There are also income restrictions in place for students receiving financial support, which outline one’s planning for how much and when you can work. Combining work and studies can be likened to a double-edged sword (Eurostudent VI 2018). Responsible use and a careful balance gives the sword an undefeatable advantage as well as security and support in one’s daily life, but carelessly used it can as quickly create chaos and sometimes even harm. Regardless of the pros and cons, the combination can often be intense, and as a result there are students who haven’t had time off even in years.

It can also be hard for students to recover, since recovering takes time and can mean taking time off. Everyone recovers in different ways, but generally it’s hard to schedule in down time when one’s existence more or less is based on constantly performing. Besides studies and work there can also be other circumstances to consider; for example family life, and so on. 

”If you got to choose, how would you like to recover?” 

Regardless of one’s preferences, perhaps the most important thing is not to make having time to recover into a question of worthiness. With this I mean that many think, often subconsciously, in ways of thought that equate rest or vacation to something you have to make yourself deserving of. Time off can in those cases become something that feels weird to give yourself, since rest is something you do once everything is done and dealt with.  (Kujala 2021) At the same time it’s also easy to look past how difficult the work actually had been up until that point – regardless of if it’s gone well or not.

Time off is just the time you take to recover – really nothing more, nothing less. Everyone needs time to recover in some form – even you. I personally hope you find the ways that, besides supporting you as you recover, also open up a dialogue about your situation between you, your environment and other instances that play a part in your life. We at Nyyti ry also gladly offer support through our website, chat and free self help courses.

I wish you, dear student, an incredibly lovely and fantastic summer!

This post is written by guest blogger Linda Lindström, an expert at the organization Nyyti ry, that works toward better mental health among students.