Working students feel the pressure to participate in extra-curricular activities that are meant to enrich their college experience.
In order to obtain their degree, students understand they need to earn money while going to school so they can pay for school fees. While students say it’s important to get involved while in college, sometimes the pressure of working while being a full-time student is hard, and it makes it difficult to participate in extracurricular activities.
Michael Sowell, a sophomore psychology major from Salt Lake City, works at Jimmy John’s and said although management is pretty flexible with his school schedule, it would be difficult for him to get involved in some extra-curricular activities.
“I would have to work a lot less,” Sowell said.
Jordon Sharp, director of student involvement and leadership, said getting involved in college is necessary to have a complete college experience and can also help a student land a job upon graduation.
“It is natural for students to feel they can’t afford or don’t have time for student involvement; however, in my experience and what research overwhelming illustrates is that students can’t afford not to get involved,” he said.
Sharp said students who are involved on campus not only make their degree more valuable upon graduating, but also students who get involved on their campuses have better grades, are more marketable, transfer less, graduate more, have more friends, and enjoy their college experience substantially more.
Some students see the value in getting involved, and they want to; however, they are oftentimes forced to put off enriching school activities because of work.
Kaitlyn Browning, a freshman general education major from Rexburg, Idaho, and Micah Beatty, a freshman general education major from St. George, are both full-time students who work. In addition to work, school, family and friends, Browning and Beatty are also planning a wedding this semester.
“I want to [get involved] as we go through college, but it’s difficult right now,” Browning said. “We have work, school, the wedding and everything else. But we’re working on it.”
Beatty said not only is it hard to focus on campus events outside of the classroom, but also teachers should be aware that many of their students work and to keep that in mind.
Sharp said getting involved is necessary to fulfill professional goals.
“Make it work for you,” he said. “You will see that involvement does not subtract from but will enhance your personal and professional goals.”
Browning said teachers who take attendance should also be mindful that some students who miss class aren’t skipping because they simply don’t want to go but because they have obligations at work.
“The only thing I’m not a fan of is the attendance,” she said. “Today I have to go into work earlier than usual because I want more hours because I need to pay for college. It’s difficult having to be required to be in class when you may already have a good grasp on the material.”
Sharp said students should get involved because the memories made during college are priceless.
“Ultimately, if students don’t get involved at college, they will wish they had,” he said. “The memories you make being involved in activities like the Great Race, painting the D, making a Homecoming float, or becoming a ‘True Rebel’ [are] what you will remember years from now as you drive by Dixie State.”