Balancing work life and academics

Photo by Alexa Christie | Students studying between classes outside of West Coast Grocery.

While a majority of college students work and attend university simultaneously, the reasons as to why vary along with the advantages and disadvantages.

Student life at a collegiate level remains a challenge for many students. Finding a balance between employment and school is essential in avoiding feeling burnt out.

Reported by Georgetown University, 70% of college students have worked and attended school at the same time for over 25 years now. In addition, the report indicates on average, working students work thirty hours a week while attending classes full-time.

There are various reasons as to why students choose to work and attend university simultaneously. Primarily, students gain financial control and gain experience in their desired area of expertise as well as networking and learning time management. 

Alice Torres, a nursing student, found herself working two jobs both on and off campus. On campus, she became the building monitor where her responsibilities included monitoring temperatures and making sure entering pupils completed a COVID-19 questionnaire.

Off campus, Torres worked at a nursing student clinical job where she gained experience as a nurse and aided her community during unprecedented times as COVID-19 evolved. 

“If I felt stressed, I made sure to go out with friends or spend time at the gym,” answered Alice Torres when asked how she deals with stress, “Forgetting about the stress helps you come back later and solve the tension with a clearer mind.” 

Torres also reports that while she worked and attended school full-time, she was never put into a position where she had to choose between her academics or employment. She had the freedom of controlling her work schedule to allow her enough time for academics and life outside of work and school. 

She advises students who find themselves working and attending class to properly manage and budget their finances to avoid stress. 

Working and attending lectures can be rewarding and tiring, however it is essential for many college students who find themselves needing financial support and/or experience in the workforce. 

Students looking for guidance on their desired careers can view Handshake for on and off campus jobs, while the career and internship center offers resources to help students improve their resumes and coaching. 

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