SJC Students Struggle to Juggle School and Jobs

Moritz Erhardt was a 21-year-old intern at Bank of America Merrill Lynch with a promising future ahead of him. He worked endless grueling hours for weeks on end in the hope of landing his dream job.

In August of last year, he was found dead in his shower. Erhardt had literally worked himself to death.

Although this is an extreme case, it makes evident that excessive workloads can affect a person’s performance and health.

San Jacinto College students are not immune to the effects of busy schedules since most students work as well as attend school.

An informal survey of working students, conducted by the San Jacinto Times, included 24 respondents from 150 surveys distributed. Almost 34 percent said they worked an average of 30 or more hours every week in addition to managing their coursework. Students attempt to balance work and school, but the outcome is different for every student.

Former San Jac student Jacob DaSilva said when he was a working student, his priorities shifted. DaSilva tended to “postpone (school work) because free time became more valuable.” He admitted after a long workday, homework was the last thing he wanted to do when he got home.

Although it can be a challenge to find enough time and energy for both, tackling school and work simultaneously is not impossible. “If someone is headstrong and mentally prepared for it,” DaSilva said, “they can achieve their goals.”

Of the College students surveyed, almost 67 percent said work leaves them feeling mentally exhausted and 42 percent said it takes up too much of their time. Most of the students surveyed said they work to pay for their education, but all of them said they work, at the very least, to afford a means of transportation.

Furthermore, the majority of students indicated they feel their jobs deplete both their time and energy. Over 83 percent of respondents said work takes time away from school/studying. With less time for school, students are left with more room for academic failure.

Rachel Vargas, a student at both Central and South campuses, said she experienced the struggle of both working and attending school full time.

“I do not recommend it to anybody that is either taking nursing prerequisites or is a procrastinator like me,” Vargas said.

However, Vargas added, successfully juggling a job and coursework all at once boils down to one thing: time management. “Working and going to school isn’t always easy,” Vargas said, “but it is manageable.”