Balancing priorities between work and college

Sunday, May 3, 2015

By Chris Linvill 

It can be stressful juggling classes, homework and a job. But I am one of many students that have been in such a predicament.

Last semester I became the Managing Editor for DCCC’s newspaper, The Communitarian, and it was more work than I had expected for my already busy schedule.

I was able to cut back hours on my job outside of school this semester from 40 to 30 hours while getting paid for work-study.

I have to admit sometimes I was thinking that I was biting off more than I could chew but then I started to look at it as getting paid for normal school work, which helped me to get through it.

New students may not be able to handle a job when they start college. It can be overwhelming and take time to become familiar with the workload.

Working too much can get in the way of school work and that is when you have to decide which is more important to you.

Do you need to work to make money, deferring school, or do you need to finish school to be able to find a job for the future?

That is all based on preference and what you can afford at the time. I chose to get school done first but it turns out I will not be able to obtain my bachelor’s degree yet, which was my initial plan, so I will take time off to save and continue to pay for school.

I will, however, have my associate’s degree at the end of this semester so it is not all bad.

Everyone should know his limitations. If you have a job that is needed to live, then you should not overwhelm yourself with school and work because holding off school could benefit you.

Some students need to stay full time to get financial aid and if that is the case then take the bare minimum, which is four classes, so you do not get stressed out. If it takes a semester or two longer to graduate then so be it, but it definitely helps to not become overworked, which can influence students’ grades.

My own grades are not what I expected and I admit that a major reason is because of the workload I took up during the semesters I have been in school. If I worked less my GPA might have been in the B plus to A minus range instead of the B range it is in now.

For students that do not need a job to live and have help paying for school, I would suggest cutting hours or not working at all during the semester.

It can definitely benefit a student’s grades to not have to worry about working to stay in school or worrying about another responsibility.

Everyone is different with what she can or cannot do but each student should find what best suits her.

If I could do it over, I might consider holding off attending college after high school to work more. I am not upset with the decision I made and I am satisfied with the experience I acquired from going to school when I did, especially my experience as executive editor for The Communitarian.   

By Chris Linvill

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