College Students Balance Working While Attending School

Juggling school and work is a daunting task for college students. Trying to stay on top of homework while working odd hours to pay your way presents many challenges. There are benefits to having a job while going to school. Students can gain valuable experience in the workforce to help them succeed in their post-college endeavors.

At a glance, Misty Ballek may appear like your typical Black Hills State University student making her way to and from class every day. When you look closer you’ll see Ballek leaving the school to go to work after class and catch her returning late to her apartment. Ballek works as a nanny for a local family. She has received a few scholarships to help with the cost of college, but still continues to hold a job for extra money as well as more experience towards her teaching degrees. She likes the experience of working with children in a job setting to better prepare her for teaching.

While Bailey Roebling, a senior at BHSU has few scholarships covering her college expenses and she still has financial responsibilities that come with living off of campus as well. Roebling works in the summer for a weed-spraying company where she makes enough money to help during the school year. This allows Roebling to focus more on her studies as well as extracurricular activities.

“I work hard during the summer and during the school year. It works nicely to get to have a little more freedom without a job schedule,” Roebling said.

Sierra Toms is studying Psychology and currently works in Spearfish mowing lawns and doing maintenance. Toms transferred from Sheridan College in Wyoming to BHSU to play women’s collegiate basketball.

“It’s not the most ideal thing in a college setting to work, but if you need money you have to work and learn how to balance everything together,” Toms said.

Working in college has many upsides. For Ballek, those upsides include working a variety of jobs, getting to know new people and earning relevant experience towards a future job. All three students agree that work experience is a benefit of working in college as well as exhibiting a student’s time management skills.

“You can also use a boss for networking and a referencea��for future employment opportunities as well,” Toms said.

A college job might offer students resume-building opportunities, ability to make new friends, and develop time management skills but they may not always be fun jobs.

Toms explained, “You have to learn how to manage your time better” and that working in college “can cause a lot of stress when you try to balance work, school, and sports.”

Ballek agreed that balancing school and work causes stress.

“Some weekends that would be spent with friends might have to be sacrificed to be able to work some weekends,” she said.

Despite all the disadvantages of being a student and working a job, all three students agree there are different ways that make the balancing act easier.

All students were asked what they thought about students who don’t have jobs. They agreed that holding a job and going to school is hard. They all thought that if a student had an abnormal course load, were an athlete and had other ways of making money, they didn’t blame that student for not having a job.

Finding a job in college is simple with the Jacket Job Link and the need for employees around town. However, balancing a college schedule is not that simple. Science courses are general requirements at BHSU and require a class period and lab period. Some jobs can’t afford to be lenient enough to fit a student’s unique scheduling needs.

A solution to scheduling needs could be getting an on-campus job. Many offices hire student workers to help with tasks and you may be able to qualify for Federal Student Aid or be hired through the department.