Campus News

Student employees struggle to balance work, school

student employees

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

About 43 percent of full-time undergraduate students around the country have jobs while balancing their courses, extracurriculars and personal lives. 

Student employees at the University are no different, and while some may tend to have difficulty balancing everything they have on their plate, others have figured out their rhythm and are learning to manage their time.

Commuter assistant at the dean of students office and biology senior, Sharon John, finds it difficult to balance her job during exam week. But, knowing the students that she mentors may be going through similar struggles helps her get through it.

“When we have an exam coming up, knowing that my mentees exam week is coming up as well helps me in thinking that they might be adjusting to the same struggles,” John said. 

A typical day in her life consists of both classes and work, usually back to back. Although, the pressure behind her courses isn’t the only type she personally feels.

“I’ve had a couple difficult experiences where I would try my best to help the person or a mentee and they wouldn’t reciprocate or they wouldn’t respond to my messages and my outreach,” John said. “That can be a little bit of a let down.”

Payton Ray, a customer relations manager with the Student Centers and a pre-nursing junior, also has a few difficulties with his fellow students being his customers. 

“Sometimes, students will move chairs and sofas around and never put them back,” Ray said. “And, I feel like I’m constantly telling people to put them back, but they just never listen. Or like, if my friends rent out a room to use in the UC and they’ve stayed past their time, it’s so awkward to kick them out.”

Ray also balances classes along with work, but he’s figured out his schedule so that he’s not overwhelmed with both at the same time.

“I have a 20 minute commute to school, so once I’m here (school), I just stay here,” Ray said. 

What’s really helped him though, is learning to wake up earlier in the morning to get his personal life together. 

“I’ll wake up and go to the gym, hang out, read a book and maybe play my bass,” Ray said. “Taking that time aside in the morning by waking up early really helps start my day off right.” 

Even though it might seem like a lot, both John and Ray recommend earning some money while in college. 

“I’m on campus all the time, studying, hanging out with friends or in class,” John said. “I’ve just put a few extra hours aside every week to earn some extra money and really get some experience in the workforce.”

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