Late nights and lost sleep

Melissa Puppo

On any given school night around 11 p.m., most college students are finishing up their reading for a class or catching up on a TV show. They’re about to get ready for bed hoping to be fast asleep a half hour later. Meanwhile, junior sociology major Amber Williams is working her seven hour shift at Insomnia Cookies.

Williams bakes a wide variety of M&M, chocolate chunk and snickerdoodle cookies, takes orders, manages the counter, cleans up and even has a few moments to spare to break out her notebook and finish an assignment due the next day.

“I worked the 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift just last night, and I didn’t leave till 4 a.m.,” Williams said. “I didn’t go to bed till 5 a.m. because I was still wired from the job. My body was tired, but my mind just kept going as it was in that work mode earlier.”

College students who work late night shifts in the food business deal with the struggles of going in to work much later than some other jobs offered on campus.  

Williams said she has worked at Insomnia Cookies for almost two years. She decided to work there for the fun atmosphere, but she didn’t know she’d be working eight hours. About three to four days a week, she works the 7 p.m. to 3:30 a.m shift, however, after she is done cleaning and doing paperwork at the end of the night, she might not leave until after 4 a.m.

Mike Mausser, a sophomore athletic training major and Papa Johns delivery driver also deals with working the late night shifts. From 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on a usual workday he attends class. Once 4 o’clock hits, it’s time for work.

“I usually work 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.,” Mausser said. “Very often with days like that I usually go from dawn to dusk. It’s a long day.”

Mausser said he works to pay his way through college, and he works late night delivery for the good pay and because it’s a simple job. There are times when it is a struggle for Mausser to go into work after a long day of classes.

“Some days I just feel like I don’t want to work, but I have to pay rent and the bills so I have to do it,” Mausser said.

While he once worked five days earlier in the semester, he has dropped to three days a week for an easier schedule.

Williams and Mausser work the late night shifts because they have scheduled their classes during the day to allow them to work at night.

Working the late night shifts come with a price though. Lack of sleep and poor schoolwork is more common than not.

“I don’t get very much sleep during the week,” Mausser said. “ I can admit that working late, has affected my schoolwork. My first semester was easier. Now, I’m struggling with missed assignments. Because with my major everything is online, so I’ll walk into class and my professor will be like “Turn in assignment three,’ and I’m like ‘Oh, we had an assignment? I had no idea.’“

Mausser said he tries to make all of his classes on time. Sometimes he said he skips some when he needs time to rest, but that’s part of working late.

Freshman visual communication design major Lawrence Walker said he has worked at Rosie’s during the late night shifts. Sometimes he’d work four days a week, working six hour shifts until 2 a.m.

Walker said he remembers occasionally with his earlier classes he’d have trouble waking up to make a class on time because he’d be tired from working late and missed classes.

But Walker did improve his time management skills by working the night hours, and he enjoyed the night hours for a few reasons.

“Academically, everything else was out of the way for the day, so I could strictly focus on going to work,” Walker said.

Rosie’s general manager Mark Lewis said he always tries to work with Kent students to make it a good experience for both them and the management.

Lewis said students who work late night shifts think it’s good because, “It gives them the day to attend their class work to get everything done, and you get to be a good time management person and get your rest when you need it, because that’s what you’re generally losing by working the night shift.”

Lewis said the Rosie’s late night shifts range from three hour shifts beginning in the evening at 5, 8 and 11 p.m. Some students might also double up their shifts and work more than the three hours.

While students might face struggles with late nights, most will agree that their managers do allow them flexibility, and managers are willing to work around each students’ schedule — especially with finals approaching.

At Rosie’s, Lewis said they have a special request off program so if students need off for a school or family function or with exams, they will do their best to accommodate it.

When it comes to deciding if a late-night job is for you, most students with experience said it’s all about knowing who you are. Making sure there is enough time in the day for your activities, classes, homework and a social life will be the difference in whether or not a student should work late night shifts.

Contact Melissa Puppo at [email protected].