If there is one thing about college I will value as much as receiving my degree, it will be about the life lessons I learned by working my way through school.
As nice as it would be to have had my parents pay for my education, I am thankful that they didn’t. Those who don’t take the time to work during their college experience are at a bit of a disadvantage. Let me tell you why.
By choosing to work and pay their own way through college, students enter the real adult world better prepared.
Budgeting can be a crucial skill learned while paying for your own schooling. When money gets tight, it is important to be able to know where every dollar comes from and goes. When paying for your own school, you are much more careful about how you spend your money.
Adulthood is filled with living expenses, medical bills, car problems, birthday presents, and miscellaneous shopping sprees. By keeping track of their money flow, students can be ready for life’s unexpected events because they will know exactly how much money they have.
Time management becomes another life lesson students who pay for their own schooling learn on the fly. Teachers are demanding homework be done, while at the same time, your employer needs you to come in because your co-worker has called in sick. Balancing when homework can be done and when to work can be quite the task for even the most experienced of students.
Sometimes getting less sleep or missing time with family or friends is a sacrifice I’ve made in order to make sure I’m have money coming in and that I am getting good grades. I work two part-time jobs and go to school full-time. Not a lot of spare time on the side, but it brings peace of mind knowing I am handling the struggle of succeeding in both.
My situation may be a little different than some students at Dixie State University because I am married. Because my wife and I both attend school, it is essential we work in order to have food on the table and be able to pay the power bill.
There have been times for us when decisions are made to go without something in order to make sure something else is paid for.
My wife and I try to go on at least one date a week. We typically try to budget anywhere from $10-$20 for our date if we are sitting OK money wise. There have been a number of times where that dinner date or activity doesn’t happen because we need to make sure we have money for rent or groceries. Yes, our date allotment doesn’t seem like much, but when money is tight, every penny counts.
Lastly, I think that if students work their way through school, they can feel that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction it can bring by knowing that they truly earned every aspect of their college experience: mentally, physically and emotionally. Every minute spent at that mediocre and minimum wage job made the whole college experience worth it.
These same feelings of accomplishment can’t be felt by those who have mom and dad pay for college. This is a lost art among many who strive to earn their undergraduate degree. If you don’t have a job now, I would suggest to get one.