The Orion

Work, school overload students with stress

Sabrina Salvatore

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During one semester, Cynthia Vega, sophomore exercise physiology major, worked all day long. As a full-time working student, she had classes until 5 p.m. then worked into the late hours of the night.

Vega is not alone.

According to a recent survey by the American College Health Association, almost 55 percent of college students reported feeling overwhelmed by anxiety while 87 percent reported feeling stressed by their responsibilities.

Some students attending Chico State reported similar experiences with anxiety and stress.

“It’s hard balancing personal, school and work life,” said Gabriella Marin, junior health science major. “Work affects school because you’re too tired afterward to focus on homework, but you have to pay for rent.”

Another survey of 43,000 college students across the United States showed that student loans and stress levels are on the rise and behaviors toward their financial situations are ignored. Some students reported not knowing how to manage their funds to begin with.

Cody Choate, senior philosophy and German major, feels the burden of loans and the stress of having to work while in school.

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Cody Choate, senior philosophy and German major, discusses the struggles that come with acquiring loans for education. Photo courtesy of Cody Choate.

“Working full-time while going to school full-time is nearly impossible,” he said. “Loans become a necessity and food [becomes] scarce.”

Some students feel the heavy weight on a daily basis, trying to rush to finish homework in between class and work whenever they can manage to fit it in their schedules.

Aislinn McMahon, junior anthropology major, works on average anywhere from 24 to 32 hours a week on top of having class Monday through Friday.

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Aislinn McMahon, junior anthropology major, finds it difficult to get homework done every week while working and attending school. Photo courtesy of Aislinn McMahon.

“Getting any homework done on weekends is pretty rare,” McMahon said. “I try to get everything done during the week, or between class and work.”

McMahon barely finishes her assignments before they are due before immediately having to start the next one, she said. McMahon tries bringing books to work to read during her break.

An article in the Washington Daily reported that it’s no longer possible for students to work their way through college whether they have a part-time or full-time job. This has to do with the rise of tuition rates versus the rise in minimum wage.

Danny Cervantes, junior mechanical engineering major, knows the struggle of having to earn money while still pursuing his education.

He pays for all his own things, including his bills, by himself. Cervantes says it’s hard to find balance because one day is great while other days are extremely stressful, but he finds ways to do so.

Besides tuition, students may also be paying for books and daily living expenses.

The Institute for College Access and Success states 7 out of 10 seniors who graduated last year averaged a debt of $28,950 in loans.

On top of working and stressing about debt, students are challenged with finding ways to fit everything else they need to do into their schedules.

“Planning out my entire day and prioritizing is what helped me get through it,” Vega said.

Vega is currently working a part-time job while attending school full-time. Balance and time management are constant requirements in her life.

Besides prioritizing their schedules, students may find other ways to cope with their stress.

“Surround yourself with people who make you feel good and take out the ones who don’t,” Cervantes said. “That works for me. A positive vibe leads to a better, healthy life.”

Sabrina Salvatore can be reached at [email protected] or @ssalvatore09 on Twitter.

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Work, school overload students with stress