Being a college student is one thing, but being a working college student brings a whole new meaning to stress. With plenty of responsibilities in classes, students with jobs are slowly realizing that the extra work load is something one must be prepared to take on. While some students work to better themselves, many don’t have a choice.
MCC-Longview student Terrence Washington has had a couple of jobs during his college career. Now working as a Safety Officer, Washington says the only time working and going to school collide depends on what his job requires of him for the day.
“Sometimes I’m at a store and sometimes I’m out on patrol,” Washington said. “If I’m on post at a store, there are times I can do some homework, but if I’m out on patrol, there is no time. I have to do my job,” he said.
Although school is important for Washington to get his Criminal Justice degree, he says he has no other choice but to work.
“Who’s going to pay my car bill? Who’s going to pay my phone bill,” Washington said. “I have to work,” he said.
Luckily for Washington, his job is helping him towards his career, just as school is.
“You can graduate high school and become a police officer, but if I go to school, I can get paid more and move up in my career,” Washington said. “With my job now, I’m getting all this experience and it’ll help me look better. It’s something I want to do with the rest of my life, and I love it,” he said.
Some students even had to decide between school and work. Caleb Holman, a former MCC- Longview student, says he chose work over school.
“I didn’t get financial aid. I had to pay classes out-of-pocket,” Holman said. “I pay bills. I decided to choose work over school because I needed to live – I needed to be happy and not stress,” he said.
Holman says he’s planning on going back to school now that he can afford it.
“I joined the military,” Holman said. “So my school is getting paid for, 100 percent. I’m ready to go back. I’m excited to go back. I’m going to be a power-generator engineer,” he said.
Holman says he has a few schools in mind, including University of Missouri-Kansas City, Northwestern University and University of Central Missouri.
MCC-Longview student Malcolm Brown says that a stressful working student depends on the job.
“I work at Home Depot and it’s not that demanding,” Brown said. “Going to school and having a job is easy. When I worked at a call center, it was easy. But when I worked at McDonald’s, It was demanding and hard cause I had to make sacrifices.”
Brown has advice to those who want to be a working student.
“Working and going to school is all about time management,” he said.