Students find balance between jobs, school

As students grow older, they find themselves searching for jobs. Saving for college, working up money for buying or maintaining a vehicle or just having some spending money are all common reasons for students to decide to get a job  Whether they started back in middle school or had their first job in their senior year, they’ve needed to take care of school as well. 

But as homework piles up and exam season kicks in, balancing both loads is necessary. A handful of students choose not to pursue work during the school year, instead opting to work during the summer as an alternative. Other students may only work on weekends, and some decide to work after school.

  1. Nick Hudson

“I work at the movie theater behind Hy-Vee. The reason I started working there is that I knew it would be hiring soon after it opened up. It closed for a while due to covid. I figured that there was a guaranteed chance I would get hired there. Now I work there because I like the people I work with and the perks of free movies and popcorn is pretty good. I usually rush to get my homework done before work because if I don’t get it done, then I have to do it after work. By that time I’m tired, my brain is fried and I can’t focus well. This then causes me to stay up late and complete homework. However, most of the time I have days off or not that much homework. Then there’s the times I work on Tuesday, which is the busiest day of the week at the theater. Then I have to wake up early the next day because of early morning practice. I’m dragging myself through those days. I think that working is worth it if you can handle it. It really depends on the type of person you are. I’m usually able to adapt without much complaint and change plans so I don’t get that stressed about either school or work. Of course, there’s also an income source for spending money, which comes in handy a lot. I also use that money for a boost. After an exhausting day I may just buy a soda and snack because I can afford to do that.


  1. Abby Glascock

“I am currently employed part-time as a host at the Cedar Falls Village Inn.  I’ve been working there for almost two years now.  The main reason for that is because I need the money, but I’ve stayed for this long because I love my coworkers so much.  It’s also nice to have some experience before graduating and getting a more important, higher-stakes job. Juggling school work and actual work is extremely difficult for me. I work every Saturday and Sunday, which takes up a lot of my free time, so I usually can’t do anything fun on the weekends.  I never know how long of a shift I’ll be working either, which is incredibly bothersome, but in general, it’s somewhere between five and eight hours. One problem I have is that during the week, the only day I can work after school is Wednesday because of color guard. Tuesdays and Thursdays we have practice after school, Fridays we have football games to perform at, and Mondays the restaurant closes early.  On most Wednesdays in particular, though, the marching band has early morning practice at the UNI-Dome, which means I get up super early and get home super late, usually not having eaten anything because I don’t have time in the morning or during Power Hour since band eats into that time, and I have tons of homework to do. This is exhausting and leaves me very little time or energy to do homework. It also makes the rest of my week feel like it goes by much slower and is more difficult to handle. I think for some people working during the school year can totally be worth the time and effort, but for others, it probably isn’t.  You should have a good stable routine and be 100 percent certain that you can keep up in school while working before considering getting a job. I also wouldn’t recommend working during the school year for anyone struggling with mental health problems, as doing so can make them exponentially worse. For anyone who thinks they can handle it, my advice would be to make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew; start with one-two days a week with short shifts, and if that goes well then you can take on more hours. School is more important than money, and you have your whole life to work after you graduate. Take it slow, and if it gets to be too much, don’t be afraid to quit/request to be scheduled less. Your manager should understand, and if they don’t, they aren’t a good manager.


  1. Benjamin Barnard

“I currently work at the Other Place on University and also do manual labor for my grandfather at our family farm. I started my employment at the Other Place because my friends recommended me to work there. They were very short staff when I started there, and since I started there have been many new hires. I work on my grandpa’s farm often when he calls me and I am free to go up there and help him. Through the years I have learned to have a healthy work-life balance with school being longer class periods and having a release. I try to get as much homework done as possible. I also try to do a little bit before work. I also noticed that this year the teachers are giving a little bit of time to work during class. I just try to make sure that I am not super late because I work out early in the morning. I think that it is worth the time and effort to work during the school year because it teaches you how to balance time once you are an adult with work and having a family or spending time with others. I think it’s also critical that you work because it teaches you a good work ethic that you can take into college and life.

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