School and College can make your grades seem like everything. Exam results, test papers, coursework, results, and qualifications are all high on the agenda as the focus is on your studies. As a result you may even feel guilty for spending time enjoying yourself when you could be doing more work. But can you have too much study?
Before we get there, let’s look at the other side. You definitely need to keep up with your studies. Your qualifications and skills will be looked at when you look to get a job. Quite simply, the better your qualifications, the more employable you will seem. By not studying enough, you are doing your future self a disservice. Without being obsessive, you should honestly know if you are working enough. Don’t sell yourself short, and do the best that you can.
However, how do employers decide between people with the same grades?
This is where other factors come into play – and these come down to experience - including, most obviously, experience in the workplace.
If you have shown that you are a good and reliable employee, even just at a part-time job that is unrelated to your hoped-for career, then you have an extra plus. Of course, you might even manage to get some experience of working within the company or area that you hope to make your career at – giving you some real relevant skills and knowledge.
Work is not just about time-keeping and knowledge however, as most jobs involve working with other people. Ultimately, work is as much about relationships as it is about the job you are doing. Dealing with co-workers, customers, clients, and your boss requires a different set of skills that you can’t learn in the classroom.
Getting out into the world and socialising helps you to learn the relationship skills that will help you thrive at work. You may be great at your job, but if nobody likes you, you can bet you will find yourself struggling to get by at work.
It is not a case of choosing between the classroom and life, but a matter of balance. Some people will need to put more effort into the classroom, while others may find academia easy and struggle with socialising.
In fact many employers like to see more from job-seekers, and you are probably aware of the importance of your C.V. If you have done nothing but study, you may find yourself overlooked for a more dynamic candidate. This is not to say that you need to book a Gap Year right away, but rather that you may need more than just grades to shine.
Ultimately it is about your life and how you live it. Working on your studies helps set you up for the future, but making sure you have some fun, gain some experiences, and enjoy the company of others is actually living life now.
Don’t let one rule the other as they will both have a part to play when it comes to your future career.