Work and school: Use your time well or it will hurt your future

Oct. 6, 2014

Celeste Burnham
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College students struggle with balancing work and school.

Attending classes and going to work can be a tremendous challenge. We must remember to use our time wisely.

Reaching adulthood requires us to both further our education and pay the bills. We have to keep our eyes on both to prevent a burnout. So how many credit hours are practical to maintain certain lifestyles?

As a student who is enrolled in 18 credit hours and works 20 hours per week I know that I am struggling to keep up.

According to academic adviser Jesse Perez there is a general school-to-work ratio that the university recommends.

For students working less than 15 hours a week it is recommended they take 12 to-16 credit hours; students working 20 or more hours a week are not supposed to take more than nine credit hours; and students working full-time are not supposed to take on more than six credit hours.

However, it does not seem realistic that students are abiding by this rule of thumb.

“From my experience working with students at UCCS they usually do not follow this guide,” Perez said.

Grace Gatto, junior communication major, thinks she fits within the range of working about 15 hours a week and taking 12 to 16 credit hours. She pointed out how work experience is a highly valued skill.

But managing to gain work experience, especially in your desired field, while working toward a degree can be overwhelming.

“It can be really hard to find a balance between work and school,” said Gatto. “Especially if you are working a job that you enjoy more than school it can definitely be distracting.”

Students with on-campus jobs are now limited to working 25 hours per week, a move intended to better match the guide of student employment and academic advising.

The idea behind the credit hour ratio is not to hinder students from gaining work experience or helping to pay their bills.

The goal is to help encourage students to work towards their degree and have enough time in their schedule to do so. Writing papers, researching topics, giving presentations and studying all take a great deal of time and effort. B

ut Perez knows the vast majority do not prescribe.

“A large percentage of the students I work with take 12 to 15 credit hours every semester while working full time,” Perez said.

The university offers online, winter break, spring break, and condensed courses to help students better manage and balance their load.I am enrolled in one online course because it better fits my schedule.

Balancing classes and a part-time job most definitely isn’t easy, but it is not impossible. Time management is definitely necessary.