When you hear students talk about how broke they are, I can 100% say they are probably not over exaggerating. For those of us who live in London, this statement is especially true.
Growing up, most of my friends’ older brothers and sisters worked part-time at the local McDonald’s or Subway to make that extra cash during their uni days. Naturally, I also thought I’d follow the tradition and began stressing over whether or not being a cashier at KFC was a respectable job. When I got to year 12 I started thinking bigger.
I was smitten with myself. None of my other friends had come up with that idea. I’d one-upped them all. When A-Levels ended, I couldn’t wait to send in my CV to my local Tesco Extra. I figured getting in some experience before uni would be great – when I’d inevitably end up applying during first term, there would be no reason for them not to hire me. Experienced, dedicated, available…I’d be their ideal employee, easy!
When I finally joined all the freshers chats during the summer, I realised I was, to put it nicely, very naive about the variety of jobs students could have. There were people who were working for firms, retail, education – one guy even had his own start-up! The most common job, however, seemed to be tutoring so I figured I’d give it a go and signed up to a good few websites.
With the amount of experience I’ve gained from tutoring, working at Tesco’s, blogging and being an ambassador for Imperial, I can definitely say tutoring is the most rewarding job.
Its awkward at first. Someone’s coming to you for advice – what if you don’t know the answer?
What if they decide to stop getting lessons from you because you’re not good enough?
What do you do?
I’ve learned that saying “I don’t know, let me check and get back to you” is perfectly okay. You’re not an expert, you’re there to assist and supplement their education, not teach them everything from scratch – you are not their teacher. If it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. Move on, you will find someone else.
Also, I don’t think anyone ever tells you how easy it is to get invested in your students’ lives both academically and just generally. I recently went through the whole UCAS application experience with my A-Level student and last week I heard they’d got an offer. Let’s just say, to say I felt ecstatic would be an understatement.
10/10 would recommend.