Students Working Full Time Jobs


Published: Febrary 14, 2008

It’s no secret that a full course load in college usually means copious amounts of dense reading, writing, what can seem like never-ending papers and, of course, attending those eight o’clock classes everyone loves so much.  Just in case all this academic work, alongside a somewhat active social life, isn’t enough to handle, more and more university students are adding full time jobs to their already full plates.

Jobs that require students to dedicate over 30 hours a week have become wildly popular at FCLC, as students find that they neither want to change their spending habits nor rely on their parents forever.  Sure, New York is an expensive town to live in, but how does someone actually manage a schedule so overwhelming that even their poor Blackberry struggles to deal with it?

Dena Ela, FCLC ’09, who works anywhere from 30 to 35 hours a week training dogs, claims that with time, it has become easier to schedule her classes so that she has time for both responsibilities and friends.

“I make it so that I have at least one day off from school and work each week—a kind of catch-up day,” Ela said.

Despite having to strategize before registering for classes and often having days that start at the crack of dawn and don’t end until long after the sun goes down, Ela doesn’t complain about these long hours, even citing that she prefers working nonstop to relying on her parents for everything.

“I’m in college, but that doesn’t mean I want to leech off of my parents forever,” she said.

Tatiana Urriaga, FCLC ’08, agrees, and though she admits that her planner is so packed that she can barely pencil in sleep, she also enjoys the fact she doesn’t have to call mom about every deduction that is made to her checking account.

“I realize most college students don’t work this much, but I pay for everything myself, so I don’t have much of a choice,” Urriaga said.

In fact, Urriaga has even decided that in addition to her full time job at Starbucks and full course load, she can handle an internship this semester because it’s an opportunity to gain experience before graduation.

“Of course there are times when I just want to go to sleep at 10 o’clock, but in reality, I know that if I don’t finish my work or finally go out with friends, I’m going to regret it,” she said.

Students across campus reverberated similar sentiments, proclaiming that independence is important to them and because their friends all have a similar set-up, it’s not too frustrating to manage these daunting schedules.  Jack McLaughlin, FCLC ’08, who works full time at the St. Paul’s Book and Gift Shop,  believes that there may even be some benefits to being on the run all day and handling everything from work obligations to after-hours drinks with friends.

“Yes, I work to pay for school, but working also reminds me that there is a world outside of classes,” McLaughlin said.

The freshmen class has also caught on, although many are starting with part-time jobs for now.  Juliet Ben-Ami, FCLC ’11, who is currently working 13 hours a week in the Fordham University work study program, agrees with McLaughlin, stating that working is important to her for reasons besides earning extra cash.

“I enjoy working, [it] makes me feel like I have a purpose in society,” Ben-Ami said.

From money-strapped parents to students who want to do it all in college, it would seem that attending Lincoln Center provides plenty of reasons for students to develop a drive to get ahead, and forfeit their desire to sacrifice any aspect of their social lives.  Being responsible for their own daily routine may have meant long naps in the middle of the day during freshman year, but for many students it has morphed into tackling school, jobs, internships and still managing to maintain their sanity—a feat that is certainly not easy.