The Realitiy of Balancing Study and a Job in College ...


The Realitiy of Balancing Study and a Job in College ...
The Realitiy of Balancing Study and a Job in College ...

If you're going to college and holding down a job, it's time to learn the reality of balancing study and a job at college.

Sometimes it’s best to just go with what works, it only makes sense. Britney awakes, yawns, then finally arises. Just imagine your name is Britney and you’re a college student with a job. Your alarm rings - ring, ring, ring! It’s time to get up, but you cannot because you are so exhausted, just too weary, and even with the alarm, still don’t get up on time. After many alarm rings, you finally get up a little later than usual, with your lovely brown eyes still puffy from sleep. There is no rest for the weary. Unfortunately, sometimes people are just too exhausted from school and work so they simply don’t.

On her way out the door, Britney realizes something. It hits her hard, like an avalanche. As she grabs a bite to eat, bags under her eyes and all, and rushes to her car hoping not to be late for school, and have to later get the information and notes she missed from somebody, she realizes she forgot something. As a result of her rushing, she immediately turns around to get what she forgot. Now she is in an even more rush, that’s just crazy! That's just the reality of balancing study and a job at college.

Due to lack of sleep from getting off work late night or in the early morning, eyes constantly closing, she barely makes it through work later that day. After school, when she doesn’t see her work uniform in her car, she realizes she forgot it at home because she didn’t see it. She forgot it because she was so tired from working late, she disregarded her alarm earlier that day in the morning, got up later than she was supposed to, and had to rush to get to school on time. Now she has to rush home to get her uniform, then hope she makes it to work on time. Fortunately she is almost, but not quite late. Again, that’s crazy! That’s just harsh reality though and is life for many college students.

It’s hard to attend college and go to work. Many students today sometimes miss attending exiting campus events, such as football games and parties, because they have to work. Again, that’s life. There are several reasons why college students work. Many of them need jobs because even if they get financial aid or other funds, it seems like something else comes up that they need, and those funds are simply not enough. Also, many of their parents or family can’t afford to get them through college, so they have to work to pay for their tuition and college expenses. Whether it’s to hold down an apartment, earn extra cash, pay for expenses or tuition, the bottom line is that many college students today work.

According to the article, “Learning And Earning: Working In College,” by Johnathan M., Peter R. Orszag, and Diane M. Whitmore, it’s true. There are some excellent facts about college student employment in it. It’s very likely that college students work while they attend college. The fraction of them aged 16 to 24 who work either full or part-time, has risen from 49 to 57% since 1984.

Also, students are more likely to work full-time. The article states that part-time student employment may be beneficial. For example, a student’s on-campus research position might stimulate his or her interest of further academic programs, or provide significant work experience to improve future labor market prospects. Not surprisingly, part-time college student employment usually only occurs to take the place of non-productive hobbies, like watching TV. And furthermore, students who work less than 10 hours a week have marginally higher GPA’s than other similar students.

On the other hand, full-time employment may impair student performance. About 55% of students working 35 or more hours a week, report that work has a negative effect on their studies. 40% of full-time students report that work limits their class schedule, 36% report it reduces their class choices, 30% report it limits the number of classes they take, and 26% report it limits access to the library. Many full-time students are likely to drop out of college, and not receive a degree. There is a 10 percentage point differential in graduation rates between full-time and part-time employed college students.

More than half of college students today are employed. Over 60% of college students report that their parents now expect them to work during the school year to help cover expenses. In life money is usually an issue. There are two groups of working students: those working in order to pay bills, and those who are workers first and foremost and who also take some college classes.

For some students, going to work while attending college is easy. For others though, they fold, wilt under pressure, simply can’t handle it, end up failing some of their classes, and dropping out of college.

According to freshman Tiffany Hall, a full-time FIU student, and employed part-time, working is compelling and allows a person to purchase things for himself or herself. “Working is fun and gives me a chance to work with a lot of people,” Hall said. She is fine with learning and earning. Another student echoes her sentiments. “When going to college and working, you just have to keep up your work, and it’s not that hard,” said Alex Valentin, who is a full-time FIU sophomore, and employed part-time. Attending college and working is great for students, according to Dr. Lily Langer, medical sociology professor at FIU since 1993. “Working and attending college is a great way for students to earn their money while they’re in school,” Langer said.

Then there is me. Before I transferred to FIU from Miami Dade College my last year there, I attended college there while working as a Student Assistant for the Registration Department. It was fun and challenging, I had some great memories there to reminisce on. I tried my very hardest, and did my very best to pass. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but hey, at least I passed my classes. I did pretty well, but I wouldn’t say it was a breeze. Sometimes I got out of class, then a few minutes later I went to work or vice versa, with hardly any time to just stop, breathe or do anything. I didn’t have far to go though, since it was an on campus job, which was an advantage for me.

Never say never, so I say I will try my very hardest and best to not ever bend, break or fold. Quitting either school or work was never an option for me. Regardless of the negatives of working while in college, working does so much for students. That includes things like paying the bills and having extra cash.

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