Trying (Sometimes Failing) to Do It All

Last year as a freshman, I did not have a job so I could assure I would focus on my schoolwork. I loved it. I loved almost all of it. I was able to make time for myself, friends, getting to do my. homework done early, my family and even the organizations I spent time with. Sure, not every single day/week was extremely easy, but I was very content with how I was able to manage my time.

One of the major downfalls though was an obvious one: I was making NO money. Since I was living on campus, it was easier to save as I didn’t need to buy groceries, pay for water or fill up my tank. It was also hard to keep the independence mentality, because once money ran out it was either ask my parents or wait until my birthday. My parents have always been extremely generous and supportive financially, but I hated relying on them in that aspect.

This year, I decided to start working two jobs to help cover bills and have some extra spending money. I really enjoy both of my jobs and the people I work with/for. Plus, having extra money in my bank account is AMAZING!! Having more professional jobs has also served as a great way to introduce myself to the business world! I am very thankful for the jobs I have.

Then you realize jobs also require a lot of time. So I now have about 20 hours or less a week to focus on school and other things I enjoy. The first thing we all sacrifice is sleep, and then we are super tired. Once you’re tired, you can notice it affecting your work.

My experience is in no way universal, but I think it reveals some of the most frustrating aspects of being a student in higher education. The college experience and even tuition itself is extremely expensive, so not working in college isn’t an option for most students. Then, when students are forced to work, areas in their life like mental and physical health, school performance and relationships can begin to decline.

This pressure shouldn’t be placed on the student, but rather on the universities to lower tuition costs, limit unnecessary assignments and provide more accessible work study/financial-aid options.