In the four years I have attended Lock Haven University, I have been asked the same question many times: what is like is to work and go to school at the same time? This is something people tend to ask when they are looking for a job and are nervous it will hurt their grades and work ethic.
Working while going to school is a challenge at times. When you first start college and work, it can be overwhelming because you don’t know how to balance school work and outside work. Eventually, you’ll find a balance, though, so don’t worry too much. But right when you think you have the desired balance something changes, but hey that’s life.
Most jobs have normal hours which makes it nice. My job, a waitress at Haywood’s, on the other hand has a set time to go in but I’m never really certain when I will be done for the day. These unpredictable work hours can make waitressing stressful at times but you get used to it and find a way to work through it.
I start work between 4 and 4:30 and my shift ends usually late into the evening. Some days I can be done at 8 pm and some days not until midnight. It all depends on business in the restaurant. While working, I have to focus on my job and not school assignments which can be challenging at times. When I know I have homework due by midnight, I hope to get off in timely manner because of my procrastination or when I’m focused on my 8 am tomorrow and have no idea how I will get all the reading done in time. We all procrastinate and even with my bad habits, I still manage to get it all done and be a good student. If you want to work and go to school, maybe don’t procrastinate as much as me.
The advantage of working while going to college is that you have money to spend. This way if your friends ask you to do something you can. The disadvantages are that is makes it hard to meet with a group for a project or to have a social life during stressful weeks of the semester. During midterms and finals, it can be overwhelming. Even with the disadvantages, I believe that having a job through college has helped me become more organized as a person. I have to be able to prioritize what is most important like when the next assignment is due. Working has also given me a sense of independence. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through college without a job and having something to take my mind off of school for a few hours a day a couple days a week.