Tales of the Working Girl

It’s 2AM, you're on your 4th  - who are we kidding? -  6th cup of coffee, the energy is barely there, you're grasping to finish the last bit of your essay to give yourself at least 4, hopefully 4 ½,  hours of sleep. You finish, sigh from exhaustion… I mean who could blame you? You just happen to go to school and work at the same time, maybe have some extracurricular activities, and then add family, friends, relationship/dating or whatever else it is you got going on in your life. The point is at the end of the day… into the early hours of the next, you’re what we all call a working college student. But fear not you're not alone; a new survey from Citigroup and Seventeen magazine finds that almost 80 percent of students take at least a part-time job during the school year.

Last year, college tuition jumped by 8.3 percent on average, reaching a record high of $5,189 per year. Overall, the cost of college has leaped six-fold since the 1980s. Students are bearing more of the financial burden because most states have cut funding for higher education since the recession. One analysis found that states are spending 10.8 percent less this year, which is contributing to rising tuition and growing student debt. Parents are also contributing less toward their children’s education. Three years ago, parents paid for 37 percent of their children’s tuition on average.

Today, they only contribute 27 percent, which means students need to earn extra money while studying. Working and studying is not an easy task, yet there are so many expectations of what a college student ought to be, but society forgets that we are more than just college students and young working adults, they forget that we have lives outside of various social communities.

However, us working college students have learned a thing or two from our hectic schedules. We’ve learned to adapt to any situation, to manage our time wisely. We have obtained skills such as discipline, communication and organization and to eat on a budget (the most important skill of all - ramen noodles, I will always rely on you). The point is that as working college students we are expected to come through on our school assignments, reading, and presentations, as well as our work projects, attendance, etc. but we should also leave enough room to focus on ourselves, to come through for our well being. To pause and breathe and realize you are kicking ass at this thing called life, you’re already handling various priorities. Some people can’t fathom the amount of responsibility on your shoulders but the rest of us couldn’t be more pleased and are with you every late night, 3rd cup of coffee and ramen noodle for dinner… again, you got this.

 

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