Campus Commentary

The Sad Reality of the Employed Student



College is extremely time consuming and sometimes extremely stressful. Many college students feel as if they are running on empty almost all the time. With exams, essays, group projects,  quizzes and other types of assignments constantly popping up one after another, nonstop for roughly fifteen weeks, the mind of a college student seems to be running constantly.

For a full-time student, an average week of school consists of anywhere between 36-60+ hours of class and study time. Take the average 15 credit hour student for example. This equates to about 45 hours of study time alone, not including time spent in class. So if you are spending 15 hours in class a week, and 45 hours outside of class studying, that’s around 60 hours a week, which has 168 hours. Now, if we include the average time spent sleeping, say about 7 hours a night, that’s about 49 hours. So after school and sleep, we have already used 109 of 168 weekly hours, and we are left with just 59 hours. I know, 59 hours seems like a lot, but just hear me out. Students who are employed part-time work an average of 25 hours a week. So, after school, work, and sleep, we are left with just 34 hours. In a seven day week, that’s only about 4-5 hours a day. It still seems like a lot, huh? Well on average we spend about two hours a day eating. So now we are down to just 2-3ish hours in a day, and I know, a lot can be accomplished in that time, but wait! We have to shower! Okay, so we took a shower. Now we’re down to about an hour and a half left in a day. Finally, some long-awaited downtime! But oops, you have to do laundry! Now what? We’ve run out of time!

I know this seems like an extreme exaggeration, but I promise, this is the reality of an employed college student. Of course numbers are variable, I just took the averages of the numbers I found among my peers and myself. I’m aware that in reality some days may consist of more free time than others, but overall, we’re on a time crunch. This is extremely taxing on the health of employed college students, in both a physical and mental sense. Physically, there is very little time to exercise. How are we supposed to get the suggested 45 minutes of exercise a day when we don’t even have that time to relax and rest for once? It is a very stressful reality. With a schedule like this, the mind is constantly racing, putting the individual into a state of severe anxiety. This has been a recurring theme amongst all of the people I talked to in creating this profile.

Being an employed college student really makes you feel like a ticking time bomb ready to explode at any minute. So to the friends, families, employers and professors of these people, please have some patience with us, because we are most certainly running on empty. As far as it goes for employed college students, we are one of the most resilient groups of people there is.

By Jules MacLennan, Activist Writer

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