Opinion, WV Press Videos

The Daily Athenaeum looks at the working student

For many college students, having a job is a necessity.

These students probably pay their own bills, their rent and are probably trying to cut down on debt as much as possible. While the University offers a wide variety of jobs for students, it only allows each employee to work a maximum of 20 hours per week. If the job they get only pays minimum wage, like many University jobs do, then they would see somewhat of an issue with paying for a lot of their own expenses. However, off-campus jobs most definitely have their flaws, as well.

Throughout my time of working an off-campus job in 2012, I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to work more hours and make more money. While it has been nice to have these hours at a decent-paying job, in reality, there is a reason the University limits you to 20 hours a week.

School should be every student’s top priority, and no student should be spending more time working than studying. I’ve been working about 30 hours each week since January. I had to stay in Morgantown and work during the summer, or I would lose my job. I hadn’t been home for more than three days until Thanksgiving break, when I was given five days off work. So, I’ve sacrificed going home and seeing my family, a lot of time on the weekends I could spend with my friends and most importantly, I’ve lost a lot of time I could use studying.

It’s not easy supporting a college lifestyle financially, which is why most students have some kind of help from their parents. But even with that financial assistance, each student is probably going to need some kind of income for spending money, which necessitates having a job.

College is a massive expense in itself. Whether you are the one who is going to be paying off debts in the future or your parents are going to be footing the bill for everything, it’s a decision made after weighing the cost and value of an education. So, if you have to make a little less to make more time for your studies, it makes that balance weigh heavier on the value in the long run.

Regardless of the loss in hours, there are plenty of jobs offered through the University that can greatly improve a student’s resume for their future. Recently, I’ve been looking at several on-and off-campus jobs offered through the University as well as several different internships related to my field of study. Luckily, with all of these jobs, I’d actually be making more hourly than I would at the off-campus job I currently have, so the paycheck probably wouldn’t be all that different.

And, of course, I’m getting much more value out of the employment in the long run, which is substantially more beneficial than having a thick wallet of spending money.

If I am to get one of these on-campus jobs, I would have plenty of pros to outweigh the cons: more time to study, the ability to go home during breaks and great additions to the resume I’m trying to build for my career. There’s a reason the University offers these jobs, and it’s strictly to benefit all of us.

There’s nothing wrong with working off-campus, if that’s what a student decides is best for him or her. But there’s also nothing wrong with seeing what the University has to offer as far as employment goes.

By David Schlake

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