The great balancing act

Elizabeth Rund

Students try to stay on top of going to class, doing homework and working part- to full-time jobs

Senior hospitality management major Meredith Scott refills coffee during her shift at Jazzman’s Café in the Student Center. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Dr. Seuss once wrote that all of life is a great balancing act, and most college students will agree.

At times there is so much homework and studying to do that it can be difficult to make it through the week. But working, whether for rent money or spending cash, can put an extra level of stress on students.

Debra Lamm, a first-year art history graduate student, explained how she went from being a full-time student with a part-time job as an undergraduate to becoming a part-time student with a full-time job.

“It’s harder,” Lamm said. “I am trying to plan things out better.”

While some students work their way through school, some choose not to have a job in order to concentrate on their studies.

“I thought about (finding a job during the school year), but never did it,” junior psychology major Katie Wissman said.

Wissman said she works over the summer and has made enough money the past two years to cover the amount her scholarship does not.

For students wanting to work during the semester, an on-campus job may be just the ticket.

“We see over 5,000 students employed in over 8,000 jobs annually,” said Ami Hollis, associate director for the Career Services Center.

Hollis said the largest employers on campus are Dining Services, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Residence Services and athletics.

Meredith Scott, a senior hospitality management major, has been working at Jazzman’s Café for three years and loves it.

“It’s enjoyable for the most part,” she said. “But after three years, it gets stagnant. You can only do it for so long.”

Scott alternates working at the Jazzman’s cart in the library and Jazzman’s in the lower level of the Student Center 20 to 25 hours a week.

Scott adds that having an on-campus job is much easier than working off campus because there is no extra time spent driving places – everything is close by.

Although the Career Services Center does not track hours of work or students’ GPAs, Hollis said that academic success is a top priority.

Undergraduates who want to work on campus are required to take six credit hours per semester and graduate students are required to take four. Hollis said that Career Services steps in if students fall under the credit requirement. Otherwise, it is left up to the supervisor of the particular job.

Lamm, who works as an administrative assistant in the School of Art and as a sales associate at the Akron Art Museum, has some advice for students who are struggling with balancing classes and work.

“Try not to procrastinate, which is funny coming from me because I procrastinate,” she said. “You have to make a schedule. Try not to let it pile up.”

Contact features reporter

Elizabeth Rund at [email protected].