Students’ juggling game: balancing work, school

Hannah Hartline

College life is often glamorized. It all looks so great in the movies. From Greek life to football games, the life of students in college seems easy, aside from the classes.
However, for most college students, the dream of being involved with everything that a campus has to offer is often interrupted by reality. With rising tuition and costs of living, more students are being forced to take on part-time and even full-time jobs while juggling classes.
Marissa Taylor, a senior nursing major from Andalusia, agreed that taking on both can be difficult.
“The most challenging thing about being a student and an employee is, for sure, time management,” Taylor said. “If I’m not at school, I’m working.”
For most of the working student body, this means choosing between things like homework and social events when they are not required to be at work.
Often, it is missing a big game to make sure that you can ace an exam, or writing a paper when you would rather be at one of the fraternity parties.
“I rarely get to attend anything on campus because as soon as I leave school and go to work, it’s time to go home and study,” Taylor said. “I feel like I’m missing a good bit of my college experience.
“I wish that I had more time to attend all of the sports games and participate in all the things that Troy offers, but some things just have to be put on the back burner, and my studies aren’t one of them.”
Sometimes, though, taking a job can lead to what all students are looking for after graduation: a career.
Emily Thomasson, a recent Troy University graduate, found her current job in Oakwood, Georgia, as an internal auditor through the job that she held while she was a student.
“Having my job really helped me network and led me to the job I have now as an internal auditor,” Thomasson said. “I met some really great people by working at the feed mill part time. If it hadn’t been for that job, I would have never met the guy I’ve been dating for the past year, and I wouldn’t have gotten the job I have now.
“I really think it was meant to be, and I hate to think how life would be different if I hadn’t taken the job.”
Holding down a job and maintaining good grades can be quite a daunting challenge, but with determination and a good sense of time management, it can be achieved.
A student can find employers who are able to work with students and accommodate their studying needs through programs like work-study.
The work-study program allows students to hold jobs on campus between classes, and also allows students to take time to study while they work. This is a good opportunity because it can give students a chance to learn to balance both class and work.
As someone who works between 25-35 hours a week and attends classes full time, I know just how hard it can be to keep up with studies. Maintaining the balance can be hard, especially for those students who may be entering their senior year.
My advice is to keep your chin up. Communicate with your employers and your professors, as they could be more willing to help you than you may think. Most of all, always try your best in all that you do.

Hannah Hartline is a senior multimedia journalism major from Andalusia.

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