Learning the difficult balance of working in college | The Triangle

Learning the difficult balance of working in college

Photograph courtesy of Drexel University Steinbright Career Development Center

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that college is expensive.

Usually, it’d be easier to avoid the things in life that cost too much, but for some reason there is no avoiding college — not when it’s a necessity for one to pursue the career path they want. So a majority of students end up turning to student loans. Currently, 70 percent of college students graduate with a significant amount of loans to repay and the average student loan borrower is at least $37,172 in debt. In the long run, this leaves students paying off their debts for around two decades after graduating.

To lessen the blow of student loan debts, many students opt for the most obvious solution: a job. Although a logical solution, it isn’t the easiest one.

Having a job while in college means you now have to find a way to balance an already hectic schedule. Picture for a moment that for each week you’re in classes for 15 hours collectively and at work for another 15 hours. Next, add the average 12 hours spent studying and completing homework assignments and the 56 hours you’re supposed to sleep each week. Finally, try to factor in extracurricular activities, socializing, staying connected with family members and old friends and somehow maintaining healthy eating and self-care habits. It’s overwhelming and an immense amount of students are struggling to handle it all.

College in itself requires substantial work and having to add a job to the mix in order to afford it causes a strain on the lives of students.

For freshmen, one of the main problems faced is adjustment. Several students might’ve had jobs while in high school, but the workload in college isn’t the same; it’s more intensive. Trying to manage it all can quickly become exhaustive and a number of students find themselves drowning in coursework.

It’s a major issue for students to have to somehow split their attention between their education and finding a way to pay for it.

Education is essential, without it we wouldn’t have any of the advances we’ve had as a society. Education should be one of our number one priorities. So why is the barrier of rising tuition rates restricting students from obtaining the education they seek?

Education doesn’t need to be completely free and it’s not realistic to think it would be; it merely needs to be affordable. With affordability, students would be able to focus more on learning the material necessary to succeed in their field rather than getting in more hours at work.

Preaching time management skills to college students isn’t cutting it anymore. The fact of the matter is, juggling a schedule that’s crammed with classes, jobs and other daily activities will be extremely difficult. There aren’t enough hours in a day or days in a week to fit it all in without it being too stressful.

Our future shouldn’t be at such a high cost that we have to burn ourselves out with student loans and jobs to afford it; it should be within our grasp and we shouldn’t have to empty our wallets to get a hold of it.