Is being a student or having a full-time job more difficult?

Depends on the job. Speaking as a Software Engineer, being a student was tougher for me. I had about 4–5 programming assignments due every week. I had literally no free time. I was sleeping in the computer labs and surviving on instant ramen and popeyes chicken and Red Bull for 4 years. Each Final you had to tediously study hard for because it was worth like 60% of the final grade, and it was usually at 7am-8am in the morning, and the whole class average is like a C+ at best. Most of the professors at my lectures were inevitably East Asians or Indian or East European which meant that they had an accent that was impossible to understand.

Then I had to study for all these interviews and the first jobs out of university are the hardest. You can only get the junior positions or internships, no one wants to hire a guy who has almost no work experience. You have to pass the grueling algorithm challenges against 1000 other students also looking for a job , and you get paid peanuts.

When I am a full time worker, other than the occasional overtime day, I come in at 9 and I leave around 5 or 6. I have free time after that to do what I want. I have enough experience to change companies easily. I can ask for higher salaries for the same reason. The actual coding experience at companies isn’t nearly as difficult as the coding challenges you undertook getting there. Yeah you have to deal with your boss and coworkers, but overall I would much rather be a full time worker. Did I mention that you make money? As a student I was surviving off of pennies made from various part time jobs in university.