What’s an education really costing?

By Michelle Morano and Stephanie Cercone

Student Employee, Kirstie Barry, working at Fitchburg State Rec Center to help pay college costs (Photo by Tom Doyle)

College students who have to financially support themselves by holding down a job are generally more concerned with losing time on academic studies than with their personal fitness, social life, and even their sleep.

Out of poll of 100 college students, 81% of them have a job and 39% of them work approximately 11-20 hours per week, forcing the average college student to choose between making time for friends and family, homework, and extracurricular activities.

Working students Danny and Stephen Alicata (Photo by Nicole Rollo)

So, what part of college life is suffering the most for students?  Education was the number one reported drawback of sustaining a job, closely followed by their social lives.

However, working a job has its benefits, Senior Meagan Resendes said, ”Sometimes it’s tough to try and balance everything, but working definitely makes you organize your time better.”  Forty-nine percent of students remain mostly satisfied with their current GPA.

“Working a job isn’t as bad as it seems, though. It’s taught me how to manage my time effectively, setting aside time for homework, going to the gym, and actually having a social life,” said Senior Laura Brouillette

When college students have the time to do what they want, not working, not in school, 79% said they spend it with friends and family.  Having a social life in college is one of the most important aspects, a time that you will never be able to get back.

Student Employee, Erin Paquin working at Fitchburg State’s Rec Center (Photo by Tom Doyle)

So, is what the students are losing time with worth what they are holding their job to pay for? According to students, they could not even be at school if they didn’t work – they need funds for tuition and transportation.

Working isn’t so much a question of whether it’s worth it or not, but it’s just a simple reality of being a college student. After all, college is just preparation for the “real world,” and isn’t that what it’s all about?  So, students, remember while you’re slaving away at the grille, it’s not only the cash flow, it’s the character.