January 18, 2021

Job Jugglers: Finding free time between clubs, jobs, and schoolwork

With everyday expenses adding up and the added cost of school looming overhead, many students have felt the need to take on multiple jobs outside of their coursework to supplement these costs.

According to our Twitter poll, 33 percent of the 33 respondents hold three or more jobs, and 24 percent work two jobs.

The remaining 42 percent of respondents have just one job outside of their schoolwork, with 56 percent of 34 participants saying their job is off campus and 59 percent of 39 respondents saying they work 20 or less hours per week.

While paid jobs can certainly be time consuming, they are not the only jobs competing for students’ precious time. School itself is basically a full-time job, with homework, reading, studying, research, and paper writing all taking top priority in many students’ lives.

Not to mention the various clubs, organizations, and other extracurriculars that compete for a student’s time and energy.

Because of all the jobs and responsibilities students are juggling, managing even one paid job — in addition to staying on top of homework and being an active participant in clubs and other organizations — can be a daunting challenge.

Junior Wendy Phillips, a public relations major and music minor, knows this struggle all too well.

Wendy Phillips, Junior Public Relations major, Music minor.

“Last fall I worked 40 hours a week, and I fell asleep driving on my way home from work,” Phillips said. “That’s when I realized I had to quit a job.”

After leaving her job at UPS, Phillips is in the 24 percent of respondents to our poll that now holds two jobs, working 15 to 20 hours per week at Newfangled Kitchen and clocking in an additional 10 paid hours at her work study position doing research for Capital’s debate team.

But those two paid positions are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Phillips considers to be her job. 

She is also the director of Capital Visions, or “The CV,” the university’s student-run public relations agency, where she works between five to 15 hours per week. 

While this position is unpaid, she puts in a substantial amount of work, doing much of the group’s communication, planning, and client outreach and connection.

“It’s definitely a job, in that it’s something that others usually get paid to do,” Phillips said. “We are small, we only have a few members, so a lot of the work falls on me.”

In addition to Capital Visions, Phillips is a member of the sorority Pi Phi Epsilon and plays five instruments including the violin, flute, guitar, piano, and percussion. She also sings.

With all these things on her plate, Phillips has learned to make free time where she can.

“I try to frontload work on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday so I have more time to do stuff at the end of the week,” Phillips said. “I also have this thing I do called ‘Wendy Wednesdays,’ where I’ll invite some friends over and we’ll have dinner together.”

Phillips said that one key to finding balance between work and social time is making sure you plan out fun activities and hangouts with friends, even if this just means having a group study session.

“A lot of my social time is getting together with friends to do homework,” Phillips said. “Which is sucky, that that’s the only time I can hang out with friends. You have to plan those times; I can’t be as spontaneous.”

  • Mandy is a student reporter with the Chimes and a senior professional writing major. She enjoys sci-fi and fantasy films and novels, and is currently writing her own sci-fi novel.

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