Balancing time requires tricky management

Emily Sanderson leads a class at the gym that is intense enough to attract the attendance of many guys. Tyler Kirby balances school, work, his girlfriend and a hefty commute. Danielle Passage keeps up with writing while gaining promotions at work.

What do these three students have in common? They all have off campus jobs and support themselves through their work.

Sanderson is a senior geology major who works four jobs, one of which is waitressing and bartending at Greene’s. She also lives alone, which means paying for everything herself. Add in her other commitments to the geology club as president and to the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) and of course, schoolwork and she has a full schedule.

“Time management is the key to anything,” Sanderson said. “And they tell you that before you even get here, at orientation.”

Some of the things Sanderson uses to keep on track are organizational tools.

“Schedules and to-do lists – I live by them. I am your organizational freak,” Sanderson said.

Fitting schoolwork into down time at work also helps for Sanderson but not everyone is so lucky. Kirby cannot fit work into down times at Wal Mart, its just policy.

“Most students that work on campus could just run to the library on their breaks, but there’s really no where for me to go,” Kirby said.

A junior adolecent education major, Kirby works at the technology desk in Oswego’s Wal Mart and is thinking about applying to be a delivery driver to get some nighttime hours that will not clash with his class schedule. A downside to those night hours is that he stays up even later to finish homework, sometimes to three or four in the morning.

“I just sleep when I can, energy drinks help. A lot of energy drinks,” Kirby said.

Passage, a junior English major, agrees that she is often up late at night finishing school assignments. She works at Price Chopper in Oswego and was recently promoted from cashier to the deli section. She said she is less stressed now, the deli always closes at nine, giving her a definite schedule to work homework around.

“I like being in the deli better now, I can count on fitting homework in from nine to one,” Passage said.

While she now has a set schedule, she still has much to do. Luckily, she said she does not have work at the deli on weekends so she tries to reserve that time for her social life.

“It’s really stressful to try to make the amount of money I need to live off campus and do [school] work,” Passage said.

It’s not all bad though, Sanderson genuinely likes working at Greene’s. She likes the change of scenery, the interesting human interaction, the longer shifts and the good pay plus tips. Wal Mart offers scholarships to the student workers said Kirby. Passage likes the flexibility of her schedule and the people she gets to work with.

The down sides that come with off campus jobs are there as well. The lack of time for other things is what concerns Passage the most. Kirby dislikes the commute and Sanderson pointed out that more is expected of a student worker off campus.

“You are there to work. To them you are not a student, you are a worker,” Sanderson said.

Perhaps the most important thing to know when seeking employment while in school is that you are in school to land the career you really want. Your schooling will make you more money in the long-run.

“Definitely school comes first, always. No matter what,” Sanderson said.