Budgeting time and money proves essential

Going to school, maintaining relationships, partying and participating in extracurricular activities are priorities for college students.  Education should be the main concern for every student, but for some Florida A&M University students, working to pay bills is a must.

“I work not only to pay my bills but because it helps me learn to provide for myself and it teaches me responsibility,” said Tiffany Marshall, 22, a senior psychology/criminal justice student from Jacksonville.   

College students, primarily ones who reside in Tallahassee, have challenging lives.

On-campus residency is scarce and forces many students to live in off-campus apartments that bring unwanted expenses, such as rent, utilities, cable and Internet.

“I work 25-30 hours a week as a leasing professional. This helps me out with those extra bills and helps my parents out as well,” Marshall said.

Teachers and professors give heavy workloads at times and cause students to worry and stress due to time constraints and job obligations. 

“Students who work should remember their number one and most important job is to be a student,” said Carol Motley, a marketing professor at FAMU’s School of Business & Industry. Motley said she lends some helpful information for students.

“Research indicates that for every hour of class, one should spend 2 hours of preparation,” she said. “So if taking 15 hours of courses, then one should allocate 30 hours of preparing for this number one job.” 

Motley also provided a time budget that could assist students.

According to the schedule, Motley said students would have 12 hours per week for “other” activities, like shopping and partying.   

Motley also said many students forget that teachers and professors used to tackle the same issues as they do today. 

“I was a single parent while completing all my degrees,” Motley said. “My ‘other’ category included parenting and caring for a child – which was for me my most important job.” 

Marshall said students should keep in mind class schedules when allotting availability hours to their employers. 

“I never schedule morning classes and I set my classes back to back,” she said.  

Some local employers said they are understanding of students’ demands and take preventative measures to accommodate them.  

“I’ll let them know I’ll schedule them less often, or I have them fill out a preferred schedule,” said Nathan Allen, a Ruby Tuesday manager at the restaurant on West Tennessee Street.

Allen suggests students maintain responsibilities and a sense of balance.”…I know social lives are important to today’s youth, but studying hard and being a dedicated employee will get you farther than hanging out with friends. If you build good time management skills while young it will carry over to your career.”