According to Huffington Post, nearly 4 out of 5 college students have a part-time job while pursuing their degrees, and on average a student works 19 hours per week. However, with balancing homework, group projects, sports and other non-curricular activities, dealing with schoolwork and a part-time job is not easy. Katie Shank ’20, is one such student.
Shank is currently a sophomore majoring in Communication. She is a member of the Wilson Field Hockey Team and president of the class of 2020. While taking on these responsibilities, she also works as a cashier at Kohl’s in Chambersburg.
Shank’s job mainly involves using a cash register to ring up the customer’s items, taking their money and giving them their change and a receipt. She also wraps and bags customers’ purchase. Along with these responsibilities, she helps her fellow coworkers with stocking merchandise. Her work week consists of 8 to 15 hours, but it depends on her field hockey schedule.
Although it may seem difficult, Shank notes, “I really like my job, because I get to know a whole bunch of people, sometimes I even meet my professors and friends from Wilson. It helps a little bit with my Communication major, too. Also, through my job I can prepare myself for being out there and working after graduation. However, I don’t think in the long run I would work there, as it does not have anything much to do with my major. I may find another job that relates more to Communication. However, for now, I am good.”
In regard to how Shank balances such a heavy workload, she states, “To me, time management plays a big role. Usually on the weekend, I sit down and list out all of my plans scheduled for the next whole week. I will make sure that my classes’ time, my deadlines at college, my field hockey schedule, and my work schedule do not collapse. It is really stressful you know, but I am getting through it and I am actually feeling good.”
It is a huge task to take on so many school activities and a part-time job. Some students take a year off before going to college to save money, while other students focus on their studies and get a job later. When asked what she recommends to students who want to work part-time, Shank comments, “About having a part-time job, I think it depends on each person. To some students, like me, part-time job is extremely important because I’m working to pay for my college. To some other students, they just want a part-time job to have extra pocket money. Not only does a part-time job help me earn money, it also assists me in daily communications. Also, it helps with my Spanish class because I have met and talked to many Spanish-speaking people since I started working at Kohl’s. Having a part-time job will make you feel more independent of yourself and responsible with your money, because you don’t want to waste the money you earn. I would definitely encourage my friends to have a part-time job, but only if they want to have one and the jobs fit their schedule as well as the personalities.”
Finally, Shank comments, “I would say that the biggest thing about working part-time is that you have to make sure it is flexible with your school work, and make sure that your boss lets you off if you have any emergency. You don’t need to work if you don’t have to (like if your parents are still paying for your college and giving you some pocket allowances.) If you just want to work to earn a little bit more money, you can work half the hours of a normal working person, that’s okay.”
It is understandable that having a part-time job is beneficial as it brings students an extra money, but it also boosts your curriculum vitae (CVs) and prepares them to be in a real working environment after graduation. However, students looking for a part-time job, cannot forget that studying is still the highest priority. It is important to make sure that the job does not have negative effects on college work. Balance is the key to success when working a part time job and going to college.