Academics Vs. Jobs

By: Kristie Londono

Picture being a full time student. This consists of reading assignments, projects, midterm exams, final exams, presentations in between, PHEW! It can be a handful. Now picture being a full time student and working two jobs! It is a big responsibility, however there a few John Jay students that are experiencing this.

It is often heard of students to have one job, but there are a few students that are working in two for multiple reasons. In college, students must focus on passing their classes by following their syllabus and completing their assignments. The question is how are they able to manage working over forty hours and being a full time student?

Heading to work after school, then traveling to the second job afterwards, is what Julie Campos is experiencing. Campos, standing in her Junior year, works forty-eight hours on average in Gap inc. and Adidas , both as a sales associate. It became difficult for her to handle five classes, “In the beginning it wasn’t bad,” she said. “But then it got a bit harder because I’ll miss readings and fail a couple of quizzes.” She decided to work in both jobs because she enjoys the environment and the different vibes they each have, however it is difficult for her to stay awake in class due to the lack of sleep. “If you want to work two jobs while attending school, be careful because your mind and body gets affected dramatically in a bad way, so make sure you make time to sleep,” she said.

“I’m very sensitive with the fact that students need to work to support their family,” Professor Cheryl Franks stated. John Jay professors are important in this situation because they must understand that students have obligations outside of school and they have to focus on their personal life as well. Professor Cheryl Franks, teaches courses such as Human Rights and Justice, Diversity, Ethnic and Race relations, etc,. She is also a social worker. She acknowledges students responsibilities as she recalls working three jobs as a college student. Her primary focus is to compromise with her students “I try to assess students that have jobs, I say ‘let’s try to figure this out together.'”

Ashley Duongtran works full time in the Office of Military and Veteran Services at John Jay College and a part time customer service associate at Men’s Warehouse. She faces difficulties managing both jobs and school. She assist military veterans to transition from the military life to school life. She also wanted to assimilate into the New York lifestyle after moving from California, these are the two reasons that made her work both jobs. “At times I get really frustrated with the lack of time I have to juggle both homework, school and work,” She said in an email. “Sometimes I really wish to have a day just to relax and just become a couch potato.” 

English professor, Jean Mills does not like the idea of students working in two jobs. She believes they should quit and focus on their studies, but she grasps that it is just an ideal. “The reality is that students often have to work in order to not only support themselves but also sometimes their families, while getting an education,” she said in an email.

Christine Gancayco, junior, is a full time student working twenty hours a week in Game Stop and fifteen hours a week in a law firm. Because she works both jobs, her time with her family is limited. “I am able to be with my friends more than my family because my friends are in my classes,” Gancayco said. “The only time I see my family is during dinner since I go straight to work from school.”

In comparison, sophomore student, David Pinedo, works full time in Walgreens and part time in Pizza Hut. He also has a limited time with his family. Cramming all his assignments in a short amount of time impacts his school performance as well, “It is time consuming, I focus more on work than school,” he said.

Full time students who are working an overload of hours are at risk for a variety of issues. This includes medical conditions due to lack of sleep, lack in their social life and their academic performance is affected.  It is important for students to consider their school performance because it can impact them in the long run. Many careers are now focusing on a high GPA and a degree higher than an associates. In the past, a high school diploma or a GED was a necessity, now a bachelors and masters are the main focus.

For all of the different reasons of having two jobs, students must understand compromising is essential as well as time management, “Make sure you prioritize what is important to you and make a schedule to make time to study, homework and sleep,” Campos said.