NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Students share advice on how to manage school/work balance

According to the American Association of University Professors, a recent study revealed that 43% of full-time undergraduate students were also employed while enrolled in classes and 81% of part-time undergraduate students were employed while enrolled in classes.
It is common for college students to struggle when it comes to juggling time spent on assignments and their obligation to their jobs, according to AAUP.
Local students talk about what works for them in terms of mastering that balance and achieving success in this predicament.
College student Evan Hartman, of Lynn. shares his approach to making this dynamic work. “I have had to cut down on the days I work and have a flexible schedule. I do the work on my days off.”
When asked if his
pursuit of education was something that he shared with his employer, Hartman responded “my employer does not know that I’m currently working on education. You only really want to let your employer know if it benefits them. Because I’m studying something different it would not benefit them and also signals that I’m planning on leaving. Every employer needs to think you are playing for their team.”
Another local college student, Rachel Myers, of Lowell, shares this sentiment.
“I rely on my job for income, but for the most part I keep my educational goals private. I am not sure that my job would be accommodating if I needed time off to study. My job expects me to make work the number one priority.”
Myers recommends students work jobs with flexible schedules in order to maneuver both responsibilities.
“It’s good to have a job that already has a flexible schedule and coworkers who are open to switching shifts if something comes up with school or you just need extra time to study. My advice to new students would be to make sure that their job isn’t too demanding.”
Alexis Fields, a student from Springfield, shares how she copes with the stressors associated with an overloaded schedule.
“I try to make time for myself when I can. I write lists and make goals so I finish assignments on time. I also try to create a lighter schedule for myself around finals if possible.”
In a perfect world, students would be able to participate in their education free from any other distraction or commitment, but the reality is that most of us cannot.
Life has other demands that we must meet.
Hartman shares that it can be difficult, but nevertheless he has advice for prospective college students who plan to work while they take courses:
“I would say don’t take a whole pile of courses in the beginning.
“Ease into it. Education is a journey not a destination. Do what works for you.”