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Working is becoming a priority over school for some

The look of a college student who has had class all day and is spending the remainder of their night at a part-time job is unmistakable.  They may seem irritable, angry, or completely emotionless.  While the job itself may warrant a bit of pity from customers, sometimes it’s the school grades of the worker that may be pitiful.

                School is supposed to be your first priority when you come to college.  However, some students find it hard to focus on this priority when the distraction of bills pile up on their kitchen table. 

                According to Duck9.com, the number one reason students drop out of college is due to financial pressure.  The finances that come with living away from home can put a serious strain on any college student’s budget. 

                One bill that many college students have become familiar with is the credit card.  Often college students’ mailboxes are filled with pre-approved credit cards to go along with the 20 credit cards that are offered to them at the department stores.  While some may have the luxury of having mom and dad front the bill, according to Duck9.com students who have credit card debt and are employed tend to work more hours.

                While students take on the extra hours at work to pay for a few bills, one has to wonder how this cuts into study time.  Studies vary as to whether working college students have poorer grades than non-working college students.  However, many agree that once a student reaches beyond 20 hours at a job, their grades are more likely to decline.

                “Working does affect my school work because I have less time to do homework and study, but working is necessary because I need money to survive,” Zach Dukes, sophomore history major, said.

                While the question of time management is always present, some working students don’t have the luxury of working “normal” hour jobs.

                “[Work affects my school work] especially late night hours which affects my sleep which [then] affects my academics but I have to work to get by,” Loren Bass, senior public relations major, said.

                Many students claim to work to survive, but several studies seem to question that claim.  According to Charlene Kalenkoski, an associate professor of economics at Ohio University, students who work less than 20 hours a week are often spending their money on more “frivolous” things as opposed to necessities.

                Whether students are working to survive or just to have drinking money for the weekend, there is no question that work subtracts from study time.  Poor time management is often the villain in the fall of those students who can’t balance school and work.

                If you are a struggling between work and school or are considering taking on a job, here are a few things to consider:

-Try finding a job on campus.  Usually these jobs offer more flexibility with student schedules.

-Consider jobs that are in your major.  This could prepare you for a future career and looks good on a post-graduate application/resume.

-If unable to find a job on campus, try to find an employer who is student-friendly.

-When going in for an interview, be upfront about your needs and expectations.  Academics are your primary focus; don’t try to take on a job that is more time consuming than you may have been prepared for.

-Take advantage of your school’s financial aid.  Places such as Fastweb offer various scholarships as well.  Loans, grants, and scholarships may help you cut back on your workload.

-Also, take advantage of your school resources.  They are there to help bring balance and order to your academic and even personal life.

                Time management may not be the only solution; However, taking advantage of what is available as well as re-evaluating your priorities may help many struggling students balance work and school.

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