Hello everyone, or moikka as we say in Finnish 🙂
We are over half way of our first semester here, which is quite hard to believe since so much has happened in these couple of months. Our courses are all up and running, we’ve gotten to know each other better and we have a better sense of what studying in Jyväskylä is all about. As you’ve probably read before, we have very diverse backgrounds in our class and everyone has taken different routes to get here.
My background has been in the fitness and gym area, where I have worked for over five years. I’ve been working as a group fitness instructor and as a personal trainer. For the past couple of years I’ve been working as a manager of personal trainers and right now I’m on a partial study leave, working about 10-25 hours a week. My workplace is in Tampere, which is a couple of hours from Jyväskylä so I have done a lot of shuffling between two cities for the past weeks. I have always worked during my studies, so it felt like an easy decision to continue working also this time. I don’t recommend it to everyone, but there are some pros and cons of working while you’re studying.
The pros of working obviously include having a bit more pocket money at the end of the month, since the Finnish student loans and allowences are quite small. Also you get to reflect what you’ve learned in school through your work, where you put the theories into practical use. Prioritizing is also a skill that you learn, since you have to make quite a few choices of either going out with your friends or going to bed early so you can go to work the next day. But to me the biggest pro of working at the same time is definitely having something of my own and continuing to build new relations and projects through work. I’m also lucky enough to be able to do my thesis for my workplace, so I can offer something back for them.
The cons come with the lack of free time, depending on your work load. We have been told several times in Jyväskylä by different lectureres to enjoy this time period, since it is very unique in a way. Not very often do we have a chance of meeting people all around the world and spend time with them doing sports and tasting exotic foods. So working (a lot) during your studies might cut down your free time to do these things, which is something that should be taken into consideration. We have quite a lot of group tasks and assignments to do so figuring out how to be involved without letting your group down is also a challenge. In this case studies always come first and work after, since group exercises definitely teach you that teamwork is important and everyone’s role is essential. Also time management is something that if it isn’t a strength of yours, then studying and working at the same time will definitely help you to work on that! And that is something that is very useful in the future careers.
The University of Jyväskylä offers help with career related questions, for example how to find a job in Finland, how to write a CV etc. They actually have courses for these and you can find them in ”career services”, which are all in English. If you’ve done any instructing in the past then there is also a chance to get to instruct at the University, since there is a wide range of different classes offered to students (you have to buy the sports sticker, but that is only 55€ for a year). There are classes from morning to evening and for beginners to advanced, so you can also start your instructing career here if you’re interested 🙂
All in all studying in Jyväskylä is very free, since you can pretty much decide what your calendar looks like, aside from the compulsory classes. So it isn’t impossible to study and work at the same time, but, like everyone has been telling us, this is a fun time in our lives and it should be enjoyed to the fullest 🙂
Lots of love,