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Full Time Student, Dedicated Employee

In college, employment is either a foreign concept or a current reality. As a student who has managed to balance a job and an education, I decided to give future and current students a look into the life of having more responsibilities than homework and exams.

1. Where do you work/ what is your position?

Hayley Martin: “Stonefire Grill; Cashier.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “Abercrombie and Fitch, Lead Stock.”

2. About how many hours do you work per week?

Hayley Martin: “Because of school, I only work about eight hours a week on weekends.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “32 or more.”

3. How does your job affect your school work?

Hayley Martin: “Because I work on weekends and have work due on Mondays, it doesn’t give me enough time to do homework usually, so I try to work Saturdays at night and Sundays during the day so that I have all that time afterwards to do homework.”

                                                                                                                                         Photo Courtesy of IMfree.com

Kaitlyn Parra: “For the past month I had to adjust my schedule for someone who was being borrowed at my work. I had to work Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and was often working 6 days straight. I usually had Sundays off and made that my homework day so it was really hard for me to find time to do homework. I luckily have classes that start at 10:30 and 9:15, so i would give myself time to do it in the morning. Gap periods also saved my life.”

4. How does your job affect your social life?

Hayley Martin: “I often can’t hang out during the weekends because if I work around four, I want to make sure I get back in time to get ready for work and it stresses me out that if I do hang out with people, I won’t get back in time, which is why I don’t like to go to far places on weekends. And then on Sundays, I can’t really hang out because I have homework to do. A lot of my friends work too, and we all have very different schedules.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “My work schedule often conflicts with when my friends can hang out. I usually miss out on a lot of last minute hangouts, but my job is very flexible with my schedule if I tell them in advance about a big event.”

5. Do you feel that you’re having the “full college experience” whilst having a job?

Hayley Martin: “I do live on campus, so I feel like that helps. If I was commuter, I don’t know how I’d feel.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “No, I don’t feel like I’m having the “full college experience” while I have a job, but when it comes down to it the academics are what matter most to me, and my job is something I prioritize more than having the full college experience. Even if I didn’t have a full time job I don’t know if I could say I’m having the full college experience because I don’t live on campus, but that’s a whole other argument.”

6. What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done relating to your job?

Hayley Martin: “I’ve never worked a double before. I don’t think I’m wild. I’ve had to tell them that I have to get out of work early to get to class or if I’ve had to study for an exam.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “Working 6 days straight 2 weeks in a row. At my old location one time I had to do an update for the store from 9-1 but we ended up not finishing till 5 and I was supposed to open the next day at 6 and they asked me to extend that day until 1. I got 1 hour of sleep and later on my managers told me I could have just called out.”

7. Why do you have a job during this time in your life?

Hayley Martin: “Number one: to make money. And then number two is that having a job where you have to interact with people all the time really helps you to be more confident in interacting with different kinds of people. And sometimes people’s orders don’t come out right, so they get a little angry and it helps me deal with that, in knowing that it’s not my fault and they have to deal with it.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “I don’t live with my parents and have to pay for all of my expenses. This job was my first job and I originally intended for it to be for work experience, but I ended up thriving here and got promoted because they needed someone to be lead stock. So I guess accidentally, but also out of necessity.”

                                                                                                                                      Photo Courtesy of IMfree.com

8. Do you have any regrets relating to your job and college?

Hayley Martin: “Sometimes it just hinders how much time I have to study and hang out with friends.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “One thing my job has taught me a lot of is time management. I have a strict schedule and if I don’t follow it I feel like my whole day is out of whack. I regret the days, like today, where I stay in bed till 12 because I don’t feel as productive and I need to be a busy body. It’s a motivating regretfullness to stay on schedule and work harder!”

9. What is the best part about your job?

Hayley Martin: “Sometimes I interact with guests that I see all the time, so now we know each other. Also, my co-workers.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “Learning how to be an independent adult and learning a lot about my work habits. My job pushes me to be the most organized and self-sufficient person I can be. I also love the clothes discounts and that I have such great managers and co-workers. I love being a hard worker and love being a part of a company that also tries to instill positive characteristics in its workers.”

10. Any advice for future college students who plan on having jobs?

Hayley Martin: “Make sure you balance your schedule to when you can work, like not just for the classes you’re taking but make sure you free up time for when you can work. Maybe you should free up days for school and some for work while also having homework and study time. Just don’t let your job take up your whole life. I don’t think that I am.”

Kaitlyn Parra: “Make sure you can handle it first. See how you’re gonna schedule your life, but definitely get involved in the working business. You learn and mature a lot if you have a job and are preparing yourself for life after college. Definitely try to get a job involving something you want to do as a career.”


My name is Samantha Meyer, but most people call me Sam. I'm a freshman at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. I'm an Interdisciplinary Studies Major, and I hope to teach first grade, become a principal, and write novels. I have a high school background in journalistic writing and photography. You can find me at your nearest Trader Joes or coffee shop, catching up on world news, Cosmo's snap story or just snacking on some quality fruits.
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