Chasing dollar signs

Some students have to sell pizza late at night to pay for their tuition (Kerstin Schlote/AQ)

The pursuit of the almighty dollar isn’t a foreign concept for university students. With tuition increasing on a yearly basis and jobs becoming more of a necessity for our breed to get by, how are we to handle both work and school? Is it really possible for students to handle both with a constant stream of tests, readings, assignments and exams coming our way?

First year STU student Chelsea McIntosh thinks so. McIntosh works part time at Domino’s Pizza on the weekends and sometimes works until 1 or 2 a.m. “I actually don’t mind [working on the weekends] and I find that where I only work in the evenings it gives me time during the day to do what I want.”

“I have to have money to pay for next year’s tuition,” McIntosh said citing a common truth among students. “Where I don’t have a government student loan I have to be able to afford everything out of pocket with a little help from my parents.”

With tuition on the rise, STU offers a variety of emergency bursaries ranging anywhere from $250 to $2,500 to help struggling students.

Other students with more working experience have developed methods to stay afloat financially and still manage to complete class work. Alex Vautour, a third year STU student, has three jobs.

“I work at a clothing store called PSEUDIO, I’m a server at McGinnis restaurant and I work at the hot 92.3 radio station.”

Working three jobs seems like it would be an extremely stressful feat alone without school, but Vautour manages to do both. “The most stressful thing about having lots of jobs is the scheduling. Sometimes you wind up having two things at once and I find that’s the most difficult thing.”

Scheduling seems to be key to success in mastering both fields. Vautour said she works at PSEUDIO two to three times a month, at McGinnis two to three times a week and worked at the radio station primarily during the summer doing promotional stints. Days when she has classes though are strictly class days.

“You have to have excellent time management if you want to do good at school and be able to maintain a job at the same time,” she said.“Another thing is as soon as you know that you have a quiz, or an exam, or a midterm coming up, book it off work so that you have time to study.”

Being proactive and scheduling ahead of time is also helpful in maintaining a healthy school and work relationship. With all of the school work and having a job, where does time for friends fit in?

Not an issue, McIntosh said.

“All my friends are on campus, around where I live or in my classes. I find time to see them every day so it’s not really a problem for me,” McIntosh said.

“If I’m not busy making money I know I’ll be busy spending it,” said Vautour, explaining the necessity of the jobs. “I don’t have a lot of free time, but that’s fine with me.”

The general thought seemed to be that even if things are difficult at times, if you work hard and plan ahead, things are manageable. Friends, work and school can all co-exist peacefully with the right amount of perseverance and a willingness for compromise.

“Work actually makes things less stressful for me,” said McIntosh. “Because I know I won’t have to worry as much about money and it makes me feel good to know that I’m able to be independent.”

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