For many people, college is seen as a propellant into a stable, long-lasting career. Despite the benefits that a college degree can bring, there’s no avoiding the fact that it costs tens of thousands of dollars to get one. There are many ways to pay for college including federal aid, familial support, student loans, as well as paying out of pocket but what happens if one method isn’t enough to cover the cost? Many college students have no other option but to find a job in the midst of their academic pursuits. This causes some issues to arise as college students are often given a lot of work from their professors, making it difficult for most of them to hold a job while in school.
Some might argue that having a job while simultaneously going to school teaches students to be disciplined and have a strong work ethic. However when asked about their thoughts about this topic many college students disagree.
When asked about whether or not work limits academic performance, Brianna Vogt, a junior at Chamberlain University in Addison, Illinois, stated that “It absolutely does. I work full time and it definitely affects my schooling. Everything that I need to do for school is always the minimum or below.”
Vogt isn’t alone in her sentiments as millions of students across America all face the same dilemma. According to a study done by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), 81% of part-time college students work full-time jobs whilst only 43% of full-time college students do the same. College work takes a lot of time and effort from students, which is often overshadowed by the amount of time they need to dedicate to their employers.
It not only depends on a person’s physical ability to accommodate both school and work life, but it also depends on a person’s mental capacity as well. A junior college student at the University of Arizona, Aramina Lake, says “Logistically, [I know] it’s possible if I was working part-time, however, I don’t think I could keep sane while doing it.” Lake also claims that she does not work because she fears her performance in school will be “significantly worse”.
College is often a really stressful time for students, with constant deadlines and pressure to succeed in their careers leaving them mentally drained at the end of the day. The majority of students don’t feel capable of going to work and school at the same time as it leaves them scrambling to accommodate both avenues of work. Not only is it a big workload for students, but this leaves them with almost no time for themselves. Overworking typically leads to students feeling burnt out and in a loss of motivation for their long-term careers.
For some students, this dual life of work is just too much for them to handle, causing them to look for other ways to pay for college. This was the case for senior student Robert Lozanovski Jr., at Arizona State University. Lozanovski states, “I would be fixated on my work for a while. I’d be investing more energy into my work because it’s so hands-on… school became my second priority.” Fortunately for him, Lozanowski mentioned that he was able to find financial help from his parents which let him focus more on his schooling endeavors.
Although some students don’t have another option, working while attending school is something that they feel should be avoided. Humans only have a certain amount of energy that they can give out on a given day. If that energy is used to cover dozens of different responsibilities, there won’t be enough to invest into something that really matters to someone.
“Recognizing the Reality of Working College Students.” AAUP, 6 Feb. 2020, https://www.aaup.org/article/recognizing-reality-working-college-students#.YlC3JNPMJ6R.