School Plus Work: A Student’s Nightmare


In high school, when life was simpler, I knew kids whose parents didn’t allow them to even think about getting jobs. They feared their kids would lose precious study time, and it would lead to bad grades and rejection letters from universities. Thing is, now that we’re accepted and have been forced into the new world of tough marking and teachers who could care less about whether you did well or not (and rightfully so!), many of us are getting jobs to help pay for our tuition. Some of us are also getting jobs so we can fell free and independent, especially those who are now living alone without the influence of overbearing parents.

The thing is, even when you’re not worrying about being accepted into university, you should be worried about whether or not you can maintain high enough grades so you can avoid getting kicked to the curb..

So, what’s a student to do? Need to work to pay for school; need to do well in school to find work (especially when you’re from a not-so-rich household and need the money to pay for the education)? . You can’t quit and you need decent hours, but your grades also have to be good; you can’t go home and tell your parents you’re getting a C in biochemistry because you had work the night before your test, but you can’t possibly tell your boss to give you less shifts because you know she’s the type of person who will use that complaint as an excuse to stop giving you shifts and—

Okay, calm yourself! Relax, friends. I know it’s difficult, but I’m here to help you. And I even made a handy-dandy list:

  1. First, you need to know that no matter how much you want to work to make money, school is likely going to be the more important thing long-term. With that information, you need to decide whether you can work during the school term or wait until the summer without having to worry about slipping grades.
  2. However, for some of us (like moi!) that’s not exactly plausible. I like to have extra cash and I like to have something else other than school to keep me busy, even if it means work.That means you need to find a workplace to fit around your busy schedule.
  3. But what if you need to work? What if you’re pressured to work by parents or are trying to pay off some of your debt because of that $200 textbook you had to buy? On those weeks, I tend to prioritize readings I need to get through, skimming the ones I know are easy to catch up in class or aren’t necessary. Next week, when you’ve got less work, switch it up.

Honestly, in the end, it’s about what works for you. For me, I work once or twice a week and tend to do my readings either the night before or between classes at school. That way, I feel like I have a more balanced life where I can spend full days relaxing, finishing essays, or visiting friends and family.

Like I said, it’s whatever works. And sometimes it’s not even about balance, my friends. Sometimes, it’s about working with what you can handle and doing what you feel works. I think the one true piece of advice I can give is that you shouldn’t sacrifice your grades for retail work simply because you want money. In the end, I think you’ll regret it.