As a college student trying to learn how to be financially responsible, I’m fully acquainted with the world of part-time jobs. I’ve spent many weekends, evenings and holidays since my senior year of high school earning a little extra income to supplement my coffee addiction, as well as paying for other necessities like my not-so-glamorous cell phone bill.
I know I’m not the only one with a part-time job, as many of my classmates have mentioned their struggles to me in regards to having to juggle work hours with study hours. Especially when some classes require homework that always seem to fall on the same due dates as the homework for other classes. Prioritizing so many different areas of life isn’t easy. Students with part-time jobs must find the balance for them that will help lessen their daily struggles.
I recognize the fact that having a part-time job falls in the realm of responsibility for the student, but sometimes work and homework can be a heavy burden for a student that can’t make it without both. Having a part-time job is a great way to learn time management skills, as without them it would be virtually impossible to maintain consistent grades and continue to be employed.
According to the Huffington Post, 4 out of 5 college students are currently working an average of 19 hours a week for varying reasons. The key here is that the average is 19 hours a week. Some students may work more and some may work less.
In the past, I’ve worked between 12 to 24 hours a week during the school semester.
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I couldn’t imagine doing any more than that and managing to do the other things that keep me sane. And still, it’s a very real reality for some people to work more than that, and I can only admire them since that must take considerable effort on their part.
I think there comes a point where having another hour of work results in a negative impact on a person’s grades; however, there are people that can work many more hours and still remain at the top of their class. That all depends on priorities. There is always something available to sacrifice if a situation arises that would require reevaluation of an individuals priorities. For me, that seems to always be sleep.
Diana Espadas, a junior majoring in nursing, manage her schedule around college and working. She’s a full-time student that works three part-time jobs for a total of 25 to 30 hours a week. On a daily basis, she guesses that she does about four to five hours of homework a day on top of her already packed schedule.
“I think students should work about 15 to 18 hours a week. This will allow the students to have plenty of time for homework but also have time to work and make money since a lot of students have bills, gas and other things to pay,” Espadas said. “I think working that number of hours is a pretty good balance between school and work.”
Fifteen to 18 hours a week would be a healthy number of hours to work during the school year as any more than that could have a negative impact on a student’s performance. I realize that might not be possible for some people, but if I had the opportunity to choose, that’s about as many hours as I would put in.
College is an experience that students should enjoy and remember as more than just work.