The challenge for some college students: learning to balance work and homework

The same day Zac Powell, an American University student, began his first day of college, he also started his first day as an athletics communications assistant. Having a job seemed necessary to get spending money, but like most college students, he was worried he wouldn’t be able to have any free time.

common-working-people-2Balancing academics, work and a social life seemed essential to Powell. He carved out time to study, had his set work hours and liked having the party come to him in his shared apartment.

College students across the country face this balancing act as they seek to fund their educations. Powell said having a job in college was a must.

“There are more benefits [from getting a job] than disadvantages,” he said, listing money and satisfaction as the primary benefits.

Federico Barquero, an international student who attends St. Edwards University in Texas, had to pay off a loan after being in a car accident for which he was at fault. So he quickly got a job as a bartender so that he could be able to pay off the expenses on his own. The job paid the bills, but he had a hard time finding free time.

Balancing school and bar tending was not easy, especially when Barquero only had Sundays free. Still, he doesn’t regret his decision because it showed him that by working hard, he could achieve his goals.

Many students find that the best way to manage their time is by making a schedule and sticking to it. Being a student is already a full-time job, and by adding more work, organizing your time is essential so that it is not an unpleasant experience.

While Barquero and Powell agree they would have likely done better in school if had they not held a job, both still recommend working in school.

Felicia Parks, a career advisor at American University’s School of Communication, said having a job can pay off when students begin looking for full-time work.

“Having a job while being in college is important for your career since you get experience working and you can put it on your resume,” she said.