The Struggles of Balancing Work and College Life

It’s a Friday night in Auburn. Your friends are all excited about heading downtown to celebrate the end of the week. However, you won’t be joining them for the weekend celebration. Instead, you will spend most of the night at work as well as the rest of the weekend.

When thinking about your future college you think about the socials and fun times you will be spending with your new friends. Unfortunately, that’s not always a reality for some students. Working while in college has become the norm for college students over the last decade. This leaves students with the challenge of finding time for fun and work.

Working while in college has become the norm for college students over the last decade. Students have to work in order to pay bills, tuition and any other costs that come up. This leaves students with the difficult task of having fun while also maintaining a job to survive.

Carson Griffey, a senior majoring in English, is no stranger to finding the balance between work and having a social life. Carson has held multiple jobs since starting college in 2013. Working while taking classes has been a necessity, not an option, for Carson. She has had to work to pay her tuition and bills. (picture: right, courtesy of

“I have had to work as many as 4-5 jobs during a semester to get by,” Griffey said. “The cost of living and trying to pay tuition can be expensive. Sometimes just one part-time job won’t cut it.”

Carson sacrificed many nights at the bar to work. After work, Carson then goes home to complete any school work she couldn’t finish before work.

“I’ve stayed up to 2 or 3 in the morning to finish assignments after getting out of work,” Griffey said. “I get back up at 6 a.m. to go to work at the daycare followed by class then work. Every day is a new juggling act and I’m just trying not to drop everything.”

It’s not always an endless cycle of work and school. Carson has made sure to make time for social life a couple times a month. The time spent with friends can be a relief from all the stress of work and class.

“It’s important to make time for your friends,” Griffey said. “Life can be exhausting if you don’t.”

Working while in college isn’t always an ideal situation. You may miss out on fun events because you have to work in order to pay bills. It’s important to stay positive and try to find the perfect balance between work and social life.

“It’s not as bad as it seems,”Griffey said. “Save money before college so you can work less hours while in college. Listen to the upperclassmen when they give you advice on trying to balance work and social life. College can positively change you, but only if you let it.”

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