The Struggle Of Working While In College
Politics and Activism

The Struggle Of Working While In College

Not one, but two basically full-time commitments? Time to get committed to my planner.

The Struggle Of Working While In College
Andy Beales

I know many college students whose parents have given them the wonderful blessing of saying "college is your job" and providing them with the financial resources they need to solely focus on college. When they need money, they can ask their parents. Of course, their parents may not always oblige, but it's a blessing nonetheless. However, on the flip side of that, there are many college students who cannot rely on their parents to fund them while they get their degree, and for those of us in that situation, we work.

When it comes down to it, making enough money to pay your bills and buy yourself groceries ends up coming first most of the time, because...well...survival. This means that while other people are utilizing study groups, going out to eat together after class, and holing up in the library for days at a time, you're working. Whether it's going to work before classes or after, going in at early in the morning or getting off late at night, or spending the whole time at work on your feet, the extra time and effort that goes into being a working college student can be draining. Not to mention the feeling you get when you get your paycheck and watch it all disappear as you pay your bills for the month and buy essentials like groceries and toiletries. It makes it all seem like working so hard isn't worth it, especially when the work you do seems like it should merit much more compensation.

In terms of grades, it's much harder to maintain a good GPA when you're working. Many of us spend as much time at work or more than we spend in the classroom or studying. Time management can be a nightmare when you have to merge your school and work schedule seamlessly and leave time to do laundry, study, eat, shower, and commute. Thankfully, many students are able to find jobs that work around their school schedule, but even then things can come up that interfere with your carefully planned schedule. It's extremely hard to choose whether you're going to miss work or school when you have to do things like make a doctor's appointment; and even harder when you have no choice, when the event is scheduled by someone else. Sometimes we even have to choose to miss out a great scholastic opportunity or attending an important family event because missing that amount of work would completely ruin our budget for the month.

Although there are many pitfalls to working, there is a positive flip-side to all that hard work. When you walk into a job interview, and your resume shows four (or more) years of work experience, you'll likely be highly competitive against other applicants who may not have worked as much as you, or at all. Those who didn't have to work might have a high GPA, but it's likely that with a solid GPA and work experience you'll be more qualified. The skills and knowledge you gain through employment throughout college will make you a better candidate for jobs in the future, and if you look at it that way, it's just another part of your higher education, right?

Seriously though, working as a college student is hard, regardless of eventual payoff. The best part about working is the people you meet, whether it's customers or coworkers, and the networking you can do throughout those four years. Working means learning to be a part of a team, and the people you see everyday will hopefully become your friends, or you might even consider them to be as close as family. If you're lucky enough, that's what gets you through, and it may even make you miss your workplace once you leave.

All in all, I personally think college would have been completely different if I hadn't worked throughout. I have learned so many things from working while in college that are invaluable to me and will sick with me throughout my personal, academic, and corporate life. I know many others who feel the same, and although we all struggle, I know we will all be better for it in the end.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments