Working Through College

By Francesca Barone

Attending college is a job in itself, but unfortunately students do not get paid to go. College is expensive and although some students have support and financial aid, it’s just not enough.

“What stresses me out is that some professors don’t understand that I have other obligations beside what goes on in their classroom,” Kimberly Pfisterer, junior at St. Joseph’s College and assistant director of the Campus Ministry office, said. This is a common attitude among college students who work. They become stressed and frustrated that they can’t balance all of their obligations. Pfisterer goes on to say, she doesn’t mind to work but she just wishes teachers would come up with ways to help benefit the students with the curriculum outside of the classroom.

Students who are working their way through college tend to miss out on the complete college experience.

“I don’t have time to do anything! If I’m not at school, I’m at work and when I’m not at work, I’m home studying for school when all I want to do is relax. There is no time for a social life,” Alexandra Hristodoulo, sophomore at Suffolk Community College and manager at Vera Bradley, said. “By the time I finally have a minute to myself all I want to do is de-stress and take a bath.” College students who work early shifts, late nights, or between classes might not have time to join a club or a sorority or be able to go out with a few friends and enjoy a drink or two. They are on such a schedule with what they need to prioritize because there aren’t enough hours in the day to balance a social life. This is a huge sacrifice for some and for others it might not be as important or they would make it work, but college students don’t have it easy anymore.

According to NBC News, about 80% of students reported working while attending classes. The YouGov findings are that since 2010 the amount of parents helping their children through school decreased from 37% to 27%.

“I think students are stepping up and it requires a degree of financial responsibility,” Linda Descano, the president and CEO of Citi’s Women and Co (Landfield, CNBC 2013).

“Being a night time student and working full time was a great experience. Not only was I completing my degree and making a good income at my job, but I was learning responsibility and how to balance my adult lifestyle. It taught me how to manage my time wisely,” Katelynn Forster, Farmingdale Graduate and Administrative Assistant at Webhouse, Inc, said. Forster explains how being a working student helps you grow up faster and how quickly you learn money and time management, which should be a college course itself.

As students get older, yes a job is expected of them but teachers need to understand that some of the workload they expect students to complete while they are working stresses the student out. When a student stresses between work and school and also whatever else might go on in their life, it effects their performance with their education. Though being a working student may become difficult, it has it’s benefits. Also, this shows responsibility and maturity on a resume with how you were able to balance college and make an income.

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