I started working during sixth form, and it was nearly the end of me. I was working both days of the weekend, usually 8 hours each day and sometimes during the week too. Doing this along with a full timetable (5 AS levels in year 12 plus an EPQ) and taking care of 2 horses, having a social life, a relationship and studying was difficult but I survived. Looking back I probably worked too hard and the stress affected me a lot, but I learnt a lot about myself, how I cope with things, what hard work is actually like, and how to manage my time.
Getting a job in the second year of university was a completely different experience. I already knew I couldn’t work 20 or 30 hours plus a week alongside my studying (though I still did occasionally oops) and so the job I got was a 7.5 hour contract on a Saturday morning. It's not secret that I'm not a morning person but equally early mornings aren't a stranger to me either, so I wasn't afraid to start my shift at 6:30am and be done at 2:30pm leaving me the afternoon to study, relax or whatever I wanted to do.
This worked so well for me and I was totally lucky with how great my job was. (Note: if you're not loving your job, look for another one! Life's too short to spend time in a crappy job you don't enjoy). Working alongside studying can be a learning curve, and you really have to be careful not to let it affect your course work, but there are many benefits from a part time job:
Earn some extra cash
The most obvious point here, extra dolllaaaar. For some people this will be the reason they HAVE to get a job, and was partly the reason I had to (student loans are actually rather difficult to live on when they barely cover accommodation). It's always nice to know that the money you're spending is what you've earned through your own hard work.
Another reason to get a job is that it looks great on your CV. Okay so you may not be learning skills that'll you'll use in your high-flying post-uni career, but it shows you're not afraid of hard work, you have actual experience in a work place, and depending on the job you will learn lots of transferable skills too.
One skill you will definitely learn is how to effectively manage your time. It's not easy working while studying but it can be done as long as you manage your time. Less procrastinating and more working. I found that having a job actually made me more motivated around deadlines, because I knew that I could NOT write my essay last minute if I had a shift, so I started early to ensure I had enough time.
Meet new people
One perk of having a job is you can meet awesome new friends. I worked with such a great team last year and have made some great friendships through my job. We got on well together in the workplace but also spent time and went out together outside of work too.
Through meeting new people, opportunities can arise. Not just working and making friends with Sophie Turner's friends and her being invited to your house party (that happened), but also career related opportunities too. You might work with someone who's son works in HR or recruitment of a company you're interested in and can introduce you, or your part time job itself may offer opportunities for management or higher levels after graduation. It can be a great way to get your foot in the door!
I would seriously recommend a part time job, and if possible in the industry you're interested in would be seriously beneficial for your career prospects and is a great networking opportunity too. Just be careful not to work too much (like more than 20 hours a week), your studies should come first!
P.S If you're interested in retail work, here's some tips for how you can land a job.