5 Problems Of A Working College Student

5 Problems Of A Working College Student

The stress is real.
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There is no substitute for hard work.

-Thomas A. Edison

Working while in college gives you a different perspective on the college experience. Ranging from friends to classes to jobs, all working students will understand how difficult it can get. Throughout college, you get to know all the ways that students finance their education. Some, like me, work numerous jobs on top of going to school full-time. Some have a part-time job, others do miscellaneous work from time to time, and there are those who don't work and/or have never worked a day in their life. When faced with having friends who have an unlimited amount of time to do whatever they want to do outside of their class and homework time, us working folk have a time-management dilemma. These five basic, working college student problems highlight issues that we are faced with every day:

1. Spontaneity

Having a set work schedule every week doesn't leave much room for spontaneous trips, or even random coffee dates with friends who don't have that commitment. Even friends who share the same problem, who have committed schedules for work, find difficulty in finding time to share with you amongst other friends because of conflicting work schedules. The only way you ever really have free time to spend with friends is when you take a weekend off of work in order to take a break and relax with the friends you hardly get to see.

2. Sleep

Sleep is nonexistent to working college students. I can't remember a night I went to bed before 3 a.m. Nights are long and mornings are dreaded. The only time we ever get any kind of rest is on the weekends and even then it’s possible that we might have an early morning shift. When we get home we still have to work on homework, and if it doesn't take hours to finish then maybe we’ll have time to go out with some friends later that night. The question then would be, would we rather catch up on much needed sleep or have some fun and test ourselves on how much longer we can last through our sleep-deprived days?

3. Morning Classes

Morning classes are not your friend. If I get off work at 12 a.m., get home in time to finish my homework due the next day by 2 a.m., take my shower, hop in bed, and fall asleep by 3 a.m., I do not want to wake up five hours later to make it to a 9 a.m. class, during which I will probably fall asleep. That doesn't help my sleep-depravity or my grades. Having a 9AM class can make those absences soar. It's a good thing colleges have attendance policies, otherwise I would not have any determination to get up in the morning.

4. Stress

Unfortunately, having to balance a social life, work, school, and family time is extremely stressful. It’s not hard to get overwhelmed, especially when you have next-to-no time just to relax. There’s always something going on and you constantly feel as though you’re being pulled in every direction just waiting to see how long you can last before you’re stretched too thin. This probably isn’t a very healthy lifestyle, but hey, what can you do? Work is necessary for a large portion of college students in order to afford the pretty penny that college costs. Spending time with friends is an important part of our late-teen, early-adult years. Seeing your family, or even face-timing with them, can be a nice, much needed reminder of home, especially when feeling homesick. Learning to deal with the stress that follows with being a working college student, and making sure you have at least one night off a week, can bring down your stress levels ten-fold. Don’t try to overextend yourself. You know your limits, don’t pass them.

5. Priorities

Typically when I have a paper, or a load of homework, that’s due by the end of the week, I try my best to study and finish everything the previous weekend so that I don’t have to stay up extremely late during the week. This isn’t always realistic. Working double shifts are painful, but sometimes we need those extra hours for our next paycheck. On weekends that I work double shifts, it’s likely that I’ll be way too exhausted to do my homework when I get home. Time management revolves around our minimal sleep schedules. Trying to muster the maximum amount of sleep when your schedule doesn’t allow for more than 5 hours almost every night can impact your studies, and energy level, in a negative way. There’s not enough hours in the day to allow us to do everything we need, as well as want, to do. We have to prioritize the most important things against the not-so-important things. Writing an essay for one of your classes, as opposed to watching the next show on Netflix that made your list, is probably worth higher priority.


Hard work pays off and those who work for what they have know what it’s like to have responsibilities. The value of independence starts in college, and learning how to adapt to this lifestyle can be a difficult transition. Make sure you allot some time to yourself every so often and you have the option to relax without all the stress of the outside world. It gets better and you will eventually understand that this is a blessing in disguise.

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"
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1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."

11. "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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8 Things You Should Know about being a Server

"Some of my customers make me want to print this out and staple it to their foreheads."

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I wrote this out of frustration of the ones who don't know what it's like to be a sever.

This has been on my heart ever since I became a server and it's these things I want everyone to understand.

1. We don’t make an hourly wage

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Well, we do, but it's only $2.15 an hour. After taxes are taken out, it comes to be roughly $0.75 an hour. Being a server is not like other jobs, we do not rely on our weekly check to pay the bills or put gas in our cars. If I serve 6 tables in one night and they all leave me $3, looks like I'm leaving with only $18. My paycheck from my 40 hour pay period of 2 weeks is only going to turn out to be about $30, that is if I don't get money taken out for employee meals. Servers work late nights so there is no proper time for dinner so getting an employee meal is sometimes the only option.

2. 15% is not a good tip

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Before I started serving I thought that 15% was what I left when my server did a very good job. Keywords of that sentence is “before I became a server." If your server did an excellent job, AT LEAST leave 20%. We would appreciate more, but anything is better than 15%. If you don't know how to calculate this, pull out your calculator, type in the amount of your bill, and multiply by 0.20 and there you go!

3. The attitude you have towards me reflects my attitude towards you

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I'm not saying if you're super sassy with me, then I'm going to be super sassy back. I'm saying that if you seem like you don't want to be here and don't talk a lot, then I'm not going to try to spark a conversation with you. I love when my customers acknowledge me and try to spark a conversation themselves. For every customer, I want to make your experience at this restaurant the best that I can make it, but if you don't talk back, I'll try to come to your table the least that I can.

4. Acknowledge me when I come to your table

It is one of the most embarrassing things when I come to the table and you keep talking amongst yourselves when I have asked you a question. I won't be there for long so while I'm standing there, please listen to me and answer my question and then I will be on my way. Most people act like it's not my job to come up and ask what you want to eat.

5. I don’t work in the kitchen, so if your food isn’t cooked right, don’t get an attitude with me

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Your fried grouper is over cooked? I'm very sorry and I will repeatedly tell you how sorry I am for that, but I want you to understand something. I am not in the kitchen cooking the food myself. The kitchen will mess up sometimes, just like I do, and that's okay. But please, don't get an attitude with me about it because it was not something I could have prevented. I promise we will work it out.

6. I am trained to have a greeting line, so please don’t interrupt me before I’m done greeting you

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“Hey how are you guys do..."

“I'll have a water with lemon."

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. It is my job to ask you what you want to drink so I will get to it, but before I do that, let me get through my greeting line like I am trained to do.

7. Servers have a lot that goes through their minds

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“Ranch for table 6.

Refill drinks at table 7 and 8. Wow that guy drinks a lot.

Don't forget that the guy at table 7 wants his ribeye trimmed a certain way and cooked in-between medium and medium rare.

Where is the water pitcher??

Call out salads for table 8. No onions and peppers on one.

Grab the check from table 5.

Theres no more sweet tea in the urn. We need more!

UGH RANCH FOR TABLE 6!"

I saw something similar to this on Facebook one time, and I laughed at how accurate it was. If I forget that ranch for table 6 at the end of the night, it will hit me and I will feel and about it.

8. Lastly, I am human and I will make some mistakes

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I will stumble upon my words when I say filet mignon because for some reason it is a hard word for me to say. My mind will go blank sometimes when you ask me what kind of wine we have. I will mess up every now and then. Sometimes it will be your fault because just like me, you mess up too and that's perfectly OK.


Becoming a server was one of the most eye opening experiences for me and if I could, I would make it a law for everyone to be a server at some point in their life, but that would be really silly. I hope this opens the eyes of some people. I know being a server isn't the most difficult job in the whole world, but I can promise you it is not the easiest either.

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