Pulling double duty: students manage work and classes

Maggie Wachtel

Being a full-time college student can get stressful. Having to deal with exams, homework and studying can be very time consuming. But students’ schedules can get even busier when one mixes in a time consuming job.  

According to a survey done by the Citigroup in 2013, four out of five college students have a job while still attending college full-time, working an average of 19 hours per week.

Krittika Chatterjee, a career counselor for Kent State’s Career Services Center, encourages students to work while still going to school, but warns them not to get overwhelmed.

“It is important to prioritize because balancing classwork and a job can be a lot to take on all at once,” Chatterjee said. “Your job should not interfere with school work or take priority over school.”

For some Kent State students, not letting a job interfere with school is easier said than done.

Lauren Wilson is a sophomore exercise science major. She works at least 35 hours a week as an assistant manager at OshKosh B’gosh, a children’s clothing store.

Wilson said the decision to work full-time came after realizing how many bills she had to pay.

“I pay for my cell phone, car insurance, and my apartment,” she said. “Now you add in groceries and any other random expenses and you realize working part-time isn’t an option for me.”

Wilson does admit that her job can get in the way of her school work. She goes to class Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then works 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. most nights.

“I get extremely overwhelmed,” Wilson said. “I tend to miss a few homework assignments and I never study as much as I should.”

Wilson isn’t the only college student dealing with a demanding work schedule. Morgan Hoover, a senior journalism major, has worked up to five jobs during a semester.

This semester, Hoover has taken on three jobs. She is a junior varsity lacrosse coach at Stow High School, a full-time nanny, and runs her own photography business. 

For her, the decision to work multiple jobs was an easy one.

“I needed the money and I like to support myself and not have to rely on loan money,” Hoover said. “I wanted to do anything possible to be independent.”

Having so many jobs requires good time management skills. Hoover says she lives by her planner and has to write everything down. She is also taking 18 credit hours this semester and admits that she often gets overwhelmed, but working so much has paid off, she said.

“I wanted to learn things that college couldn’t teach me (so) I branched out of my comfort zone and did things I thought I’d never do,” Hoover said. “One semester I was a full time women’s lacrosse official. It was different and … actually fun.”

Working off campus can provide students with different experiences, but having an on-campus job can be a better route for some. 

Katherine Donovan is a junior nutrition major who works on campus at the Kent Market 2 in the Student Center. She said having a job on campus has major benefits.

“Management understands that we have class and they have to work around our schedule,” Donovan said.

Donovan said that working on campus also allows her to manage her time better. She doesn’t have to worry about commuting or dealing with co-workers who don’t understand what it’s like to be a full-time student.

Wilson, Hoover and Donovan all agree having a job benefits them. They have money to pay their bills and don’t have to rely on their parents for everything.

Although Wilson has a message for college students trying to balance school and a job: If you’re in a position where you don’t need to work, then don’t.

“Through all the long shifts and work hours, you have to remember that you’re still a college student,” she said. “Try to have some fun.”  

Maggie Wachtel is the finance reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]