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Students balance life and stress

By Malcolm Lastra, sports editor
On May 18, 2011

  • Comet forward Jacob Monroe wins the rebound against Storm guards Kristian Grobecker (left) and Sam Howell (right) during their game against Napa Valley College in the Gymnasium on Feb. 6. The Comets were victorious over the Storm 72-51. Qing Huang / The Advocate

In today's society, employment is a major issue that people face, especially college students.

At Contra Costa College the issue of employment stresses many students as they struggle to manage both college and their jobs.

"It's hard to (manage both) because I have to work late when I have to study," 19-year-old CCC student Jessica Zarazua said. "My managers are flexible with my hours so I can focus more on school."

Lack of sleep and time management are two of the many stressors that college students face daily.

Many students who work and go to college, agree that it is hard to choose between resting or studying after a long day of work.

"It depends how you can manage your time," communications major and forward for the Comet basketball team Andre Reynolds said. "You have to dedicate your time to your classes, but if you work a night shift it's hard to (stay on top of school)."

Managing time, which can lead to procrastination, has also become a nuisance for students, primarily younger students, as they have a hard time prioritizing their schedules.

Some older students, however are less likely to procrastinate because they have their priorities in order.

Student Melanie Crockett, 25, said she had to quit her job to focus more on school.

"I never had any free time as I was working 32 hours per week while taking 14 units," she said. "I had to quit my job in the middle of the semester because my grades dropped from A's to C's."

While college is important for students as careers and opportunities are built from it, jobs play a major role in students lives as they have to be employed to pay off bills for college.

However, finding a job is a stressful task for a student as many of them are forced to pay for classes out of their own pockets.

"I was applying for jobs for a whole year before I got one," criminal justice major Shanese Maxey said. "I need my job to get an education."

Some students don't have the luxury of financial aid as their parents make too much money.

"It's stressful (to go to school and not work)," automotive major Diego Mendoza said. "(As a student) you are happy when you receive the classes you want but the downside is knowing how much you have to pay for them."

Since financial aid cannot support everybody, single parents are sometimes left out as they are forced to handle a job and go to school while raising their kids.

"It's a balancing act trying to manage all three. You give up a lot of sleep," Associated Students Union Vice President Rodney Wilson said. "As a single parent, you lose time spent with your kids because you have to dedicate your time to do homework and your job."

Wilson said that while working and school are necessary, his kids are most important to him despite limited time.

"Clearly my children are most important to me," he said. "Sometimes I have to prioritize my job and school so I can't give them immediate satisfaction."

While the stresses part-time students have can be overbearing, some still succeed in the classroom as they are more diligent about their work compared to full-time students with no employment.

"Surprisingly, students with jobs tend to do better than full-time students because they know the importance of their school work," math teacher Glenn Scott said. "I'm fine with a student having to (occasionally) miss class due to (conflicting) work schedules as a job is important."

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