By Kimberly Layman
BEEP BEEP BEEP. Another early morning alarm. Exhausted, you roll over to hit snooze for the fifth time. You need just a few more minutes in order to be able to even slightly function at all today. You stayed up way too late last night, but you had no other choice. You were trying to get your homework assignments done. Forget about the actual studying that needs to be going on! You definitely don’t have enough time for that! BEEP BEEP. That’s your alarm again. Now, you have to wake up. You’re already running late. Wait, what day is it? Where am I supposed to be going? school? work? everything seems to run together. It’s the struggle of being a working college student. And the struggle is REAL.
“Good morning. It’s me again, your debt. I’m here to stay in the back of your mind ALL day long. You know that fun night out with all your friends. Yeah, that was great. But I’ll meet that fun night out and raise it a worrisome day after wondering how you will pay for the gas your car needs now that it has been on empty for a week. Or how about that shirt you had to have at the mall last weekend? Sure, everyone on campus is super jealous of you looking dashing in that new outfit, but how about wearing it while you’re reading your tuition bill? You’re looking good! And just when you’re about fed up at work and ready to quit, I will make sure to pop back up again, reminding you that you need that job more than you need peace of mind. You’re welcome.”
As if being a college student was not hard enough, adjusting to a new schedule and level of responsibility is even harder. Then, life has to hit you, slap you, and smack you. It’s turning your world upside down. Oh life, always keeping me on my toes. You see there is this thing called money, and well unfortunately the world practically revolves around it. There’s also this thing called college and higher education. The idea is that if you complete college then you will hopefully get a better paying job… The irony comes in when you look at how much colleges cost. I’m not just talking tuition here. I’m talking about books, club fees so you’ll have an impressive resume, food, dorms/apartments, etc. You go into a little debt, hoping that one day you’ll make enough to pay it all back. Your list of expenses and bills can keep adding up, all while you’re still trying to get a grasp on growing up.
The majority of college students in some way, shape, or form have had to start working. Work study, part-time jobs, babysitting, and tutoring are just some of the go to starting points. Now, obviously work is not supposed to be a bad thing. Jobs work as a great resume booster, as well as give you some extra cash if you need it. Of course, that is once all your bills are paid. Jobs also give you an opportunity to set up your future. If you can get a starting position somewhere you may want to work after school, it is easier to work your way up. Or if your employer likes you, it can give you a good reference for all those applications you can expect after graduation in your future.
The struggle can begin when looking for a job that will work with you when it comes to scheduling. Not many jobs are okay with your saying you need a couple of days off during the week to go to class. But then again, we can’t really blame them. After all, they are trying to run a business. Once you find a place to work around your crazy school schedule–which consists of classes, club meetings, practices, studying for tests, and completing homework–then you pretty much can plan on working your entire weekend away picking up shifts that everyone else wants to have off. That’s always fun.