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Oct 22 2015
by Michelle Chan

What I Learned From Working 15 Hours A Week

By Michelle Chan - Oct 22 2015
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About two weeks before starting college, I began job-hunting for on-campus jobs. I needed the money, you know? Even though my parents were helping me pay for college, I felt it was only right for me to give them a hand in saving up money in any way that I could.

I was fortunate enough to be awarded with work-study. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a form of government-funded financial aid. But in order to earn the allotted amount granted, you must work for it. And sure enough, I was hired for a couple of work-study jobs. I decided to take up two jobs instead of just one.

The two jobs together amounted to about 15 hours of work per week. My college limits each student to working a maximum of 20 hours a week, and 15 is less than 20, so 15 hours a week must be manageable. Right?

In my case, 15 hours was manageable, BUT some sacrifices had to be made. Truth be told, there were times when I regretted taking up two jobs, especially when the day was long and I had evening classes. But would I have made a different decision if I could? Probably not. I figured that the pros outweighed the cons. Even though the negatives were greater in quantity than the positives, the positives helped me become more responsible as a young adult.

Below is a list of the pros and cons:

CONS:

1. NO SLEEPING IN

Want to wake up at 10AM for your 11AM class? Not going to happen because you have work at 9AM.

2. NO NAPS

Want to nap in between classes? Not going to happen because that’s when you have work.

3. LUNCHES ARE GRAB-N-GO

Want to wait for a freshly made sandwich from your favorite deli? Not going to happen because you only have five minutes to grab a pre-made sandwich.

4. LESS TIME TO BE SOCIAL

Want to go to a dining hall and eat with friends? Not going to happen because you have work in fifteen minutes.

5. SITTING TOO MUCH

Two words: office jobs.

6. EASILY BURNED OUT

You’re constantly on the move, there’s really no time to breathe. By the time it’s 6pm, you just want to crash onto your bed and sleep.

PROS:

1. MORE WORK GETS DONE

Depends on what type of job you have, but mine were both office jobs. Office jobs are probably the most relaxing types of jobs out there. You mostly help with photocopying or other minor office tasks. During the downtime when there isn’t much to do, you can do homework or study while on the job. You are less likely to be distracted by other people or by YouTube or Netflix because you wouldn’t want your boss catching you doing that while working.

2. TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS ACQUIRED

Because such a big chunk of your week is devoted to working, you force yourself to work harder to make up for the time lost. Personally, I found myself slacking less.

3. EXPERIENCE SATISFACTION OF GETTING PAID

Money. What more should I say?

4. GET A TASTE OF THE ADULT WORLD

They’re pretty similar aren’t they? Instead of working for 10 hours straight a day, you work for a couple of hours a day in addition to taking classes. I wouldn’t know for sure, but I am certainly a more responsible person. And this will probably lend a hand in preparing you for the rigor of the real world.

So for those of you who want to get a job, make sure you know just how demanding the job may be. Are the hours lenient? Is the job stressful? Are you willing to sacrifice precious sleep and social time?

And remember, you can always accept a job position, and if you find that you can’t handle work and school at the same time, you can always quit. Quit the job, that is.

Best of luck to those looking for jobs! 

Lead image credit: deviantart.net

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Michelle Chan - Northeastern University

Michelle Chan is a freshman at Northeastern University majoring in Nursing. She went to a high school that was majority-minority, but now that she's in college, she's finally experiencing what being a minority is like: not all that different, actually. She enjoys spending her free time binge-watching Netflix, reading books by her favorite author Stephen King, and eating dessert. You can find her on Instagram @michelleeebells!

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