Pros and cons of a working college student

Graduating senior Ta’Niya Johnson believes that students should enjoy school to the fullest and not get lost in working. The focus should be on their long-term career. Photo by Marlene Barnett

The pros and cons of a working college student have evolved overtime, there are a few themes that remain the same. Consider these when trying to understand the modern-day college student.

The pros:

Students can build their resume and learn valuable tools that transcend the classroom. Critical thinking, problem-solving and leadership are strengthened when students work. They learn how to balance chaotic scheduling and develop an effective work ethic. Which are skills that employers look for.

Junior Nursing student, Aaliyah Lockhart, benefited from working as a college student. With such a rigorous course load, she discovered a hidden gem.

“For me, working in college was a necessity,” said Lockhart. “I stay off campus, and I pay my own bills. On top of that, it feels nice to have my own money. Honestly, working in college really improved my time management skills.”

Mastering professionalism can be a perk to working in college. Students are to be prompt and dependable with clock ins, shift changes, and customer satisfaction. Students can access real world experience and perfect time management.

Networking on a job site, whether with coworkers or customers can provide students with valuable contacts that can lead to future recommendations. Working students are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone and get to know people from all walks of life. This can help students work well with a team of individuals.

The cons:

Working while in college can cause a domino effect. Fatigue, lower grades, and burnouts are sure to arise. Additional deadlines and interactions can affect the overall wellness of a student.

Students may experience fatigue from the lack of self-care. The constant transition from school to work can cause students to miss meals and forget to stay hydrated.

Lower grades may be another downfall for students. With such a busy schedule, students may choose sleep over completing assignments. Or they may even forget that an assignment was due.

Sophomore, Jordan Nance, challenged this status quo. He managed to maintain his grades while working as a student athlete.

“There aren’t really many cons that I experienced while working, I’m just extremely exhausted,” said Nance. “Usually I just deal with it until the weekend, so I can catch up on sleep. Last semester, and kind of this semester, I had to cut back on my hours so I will be able to do my schoolwork and sleep.”

Students should be mindful of the advantages and disadvantages of working while in college and apply it to their circumstances.

Sonya Knight, TRIO Student Support Services Academic Advisor and Coaching Coordinator, suggests that students should be aware of their resources on campus and meet with advisors and academic coaches regularly to stay on track.

“It’s the individual student’s choice to work while they are in college,” Knight said.  “I do feel as though it’s helpful to not only have academic experience, but to have real-world experience.”

In today’s workforce, there are many jobs that can accommodate college students. Jobs that have flexible hours such as Lyft, food-delivery services, and working from home can open avenues for students to receive a paycheck. Students should develop a healthy balance so that both areas won’t suffer.