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    On Working To Pay Your School Fees (And Other Bills) In The UK As A Care Worker

    On working to pay your school fees (and other bills) in the UK.

    More conversations need to be had about what some self-sponsored international students go through to survive in the UK, pay their fees and other bills, and still pay their black tax (send money home). It’s so sad that they get so caught up in the rat race and end up having no time to prepare for life after school. After school, most of them struggle to get good jobs because while their mates were building additional in-demand skills, they were doing back to back shifts.

    This is a somewhat dicey topic, especially because I don’t want to appear to be discouraging anyone from moving abroad, but I have to talk about it because I’ve heard about two international students who reportedly died from exhaustion from back-to-back shifts. I also would like more people have a full picture of what life in the UK is like if you’re moving as a self-sponsored student.

    I quit (more like took a long break, because I didn’t shut the door completely and if sapa hold me too much, I fit go back) my care job a while ago and one of the reasons I did was because I realized that it’d never get me the kind of life that I want, neither would it afford me time to prep myself for the roles that would eventually give me the life I want. That job took so much from me physically and mentally, and paid so little. I was perpetually stressed and because I preferred night shifts, my circadian rhythm has been messed up till date. I did about 3 shifts per week, yet I could barely do anything productive for the rest of the week. My case may have been as a result of laziness, the fact that I don’t do well with anything other than mental work or I was really stressed. I could up and leave because I had quit a job abruptly before and I didn’t die and I also had a cushion. Most international students do not have that luxury.

    You cannot become rich with care job without having your physical and perhaps, mental health affected adversely. Working to pay off thousands of pounds in school fees and other bills is back-breaking, literally and figuratively. There’s a reason most people call these jobs survival jobs. No matter how much the agency/home pays, the system is designed to keep you within a certain level as a carer. £100-£150 per shift when converted to Naira may look like a lot of money, but when you think about what each shift takes from your body… hehehe. Some people are lucky to get jobs with agencies/homes where they do next to nothing, but they are very few of such people. And even when you do nothing, the care jobs are designed to sap your energy, so you’ll be almost always too tired to do any other productive stuff after each shift.

    As an international student, beyond survival, your focus should be on your life after school, especially if you intend to stay back in the UK and pursue other career paths. Is your current lifestyle setting you on the path to where you want to be after school? Are you so caught up in the immediate gain from survival job that you’ve completely forgotten why you’re abroad? From time to time, take a step backwards and restrategize to be sure you’re still on course. Slow down sometimes too, take breaks and let your body get some rest, there’s just so much the human body can take.

    P.S: I only wrote about care jobs because it’s the most popular now and that’s the one I have experience in.

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