Students are too often told, “School is your only job.” The fact of the matter is that many students have part-time jobs in addition to their “job” as a full-time student. Part-time jobs for students are diverse; they range from the restaurant industry to retail. Some are on campus, and some are off campus.
Numerous students have jobs because they have to support themselves, but many students have jobs because they want to earn their own money to be able to do things they wouldn’t normally be able to do. Whatever the case, if it’s hard juggling the two at first, but students begin to find a balance between school and work, teaching them more lessons that just a classroom can.
Andy Ladner, a senior in exercise science, works as a tech at Total Rehab Physical Therapy in Opelika. He’s taking 18 hours of classes while working 12 hours per week. “I’m pretty busy from the time I get there until I leave, so no homework gets done there,” Ladner said. “I have kind of just accepted the fact that I go to the library straight from work and spend some hours there.”
Ladner said he thinks it’s good for students to have a job while in school. “It fills your time, so you won’t sit around being bored. It’s good to stay busy,” he said. “But also you don’t have to rely on your parents for money all the time.”
Caleb Blake, a senior studying wildlife ecology and management, works on campus. He is a facilities supervisor with campus recreation where he works 9-12 hours per week. “With it being an on-campus job, they’re very flexible with your class schedule,” he said. “Since there are so many employees, it’s easy to get time off and work around your classes. It’s just really convenient cause it is on campus, so I don’t have to drive far, and if I need to study I can just go over to the library from work.”
Many students struggle balancing the three S’s: school, sleep and a social life. Add a part-time job into the mix, and students must learn to balance all four aspects while still trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Allie Harmon, a junior in elementary education is a nanny for a family with two kids in Auburn. “I go in three days per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, totaling 17-20 hours per week,” she said. “I’m taking 15 hours of classes. I think my study habits have changed because I’m forced to do homework at other times.”
Harmon is responsible for paying for miscellaneous things such as utilities, her sorority, gas, groceries and more. “Before this year, I hardly looked at my bank account,” she said. “I would just call my mom and dad when I was out of money. But I think now it’s a lot easier for me to budget and save my money, so I’ve definitely seen myself become more responsible in that area.”
All in all, it is not necessary for students to have a part-time job while in school. Many students have a lot on their plates with difficult majors and involvement on campus, so adding a part-time job would be nearly impossible. Auburn is full of students who are just around for the education, but for the experience of learning how to live life to their fullest potentials, and having a part-time job helps numerous students learn the value of that.