Weighing class, work often a balancing act

Kelly Petryszyn

One adviser recommends students even set aside time daily to eat lunch

Rena Haber has a short week. She goes to classes two days a week and has the other five to work or hang out. The junior public relations major goes to class 9:15-3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“It’s only a two-day class week,” she said. “It flies by.”

Her schedule allows her to work part-time at Beachwood Mall.

“I schedule that way for work purposes, and so I don’t have to drive every day,” she said.

Haber commutes from Solon to Kent, about a 35-minute drive. She has done this for two semesters and plans to schedule only Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of her college career.

Sometimes she has to sacrifice taking certain classes in order to fit all of them into two days a week. Haber waits to take whichever classes don’t fit into her Tuesday/Thursday schedule until the next semester.

As students start to register for classes, some students, like Haber, prefer to schedule classes only a few days a week to allow time for work or just to relax.

When scheduling classes around work, students should remember to be flexible and factor in not only work, but homework as well, academic adviser Cassie Pegg-Kirby said.

“We remind students that for every hour in the classroom they are doing one to two hours of work outside of the classroom,” she said.

She said a student should look at a schedule and make sure they have time for work, other commitments and even set aside time to eat lunch.

Academic adviser Marcus Tullio said balancing a class and work schedule can be difficult. He added that it varies for each student, but most students who do work schedule their classes earlier, setting aside time for work later.

Harber said she schedules classes before work because, “it is more important.”

Junior philosophy major James Parsons said he schedules his classes first, and then “work has to deal with it.”

He works about an hour and a half before class and then sometimes after class. He has no Friday classes. He said if he had the choice, he would cram his classes into two or three days a week, but it depends on the person.

Megan Brugmann was able to fit work in between class breaks. The senior justice studies major used to work 10-15 hours on campus at Defiance College before transferring to Kent State.

Morning classes are sometimes an option for students who work nights. Junior geology major Lindsey Brenizer said she likes early morning classes because she wants “to have a day.”

She is an RA and spends about 20 hours a week with the job, including attending meetings and activities at night.

Tullio said it would be hard to do the opposite of this and get only evening classes, especially when the student is an upperclassman.

He said about half the students he sees has a job. Most have part-time jobs, but he has seen students who go to school full-time and work full-time.

“In my experience, most bosses are willing to work with students,” he said.

Haber said her boss is really understanding of her work schedule.

Tullio said students who have to schedule classes around a work schedule should make sure they stay on track. He added that a student can’t take a class they have to take because of work, the student should consider if the job is worth it.

“If a boss is not willing to give time – get another job,” he said.

Contact student affairs reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].