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Job or not, embrace your college career

Last summer the Socratic Segment wrote about some of the challenges and the benefits to being a working student. In part one I told you my own working history and how having a job while in college is highly beneficial but can be stressful at the same time.

This week the Segment is asking if you are a working college student and if so, is it hard to balance your school work and a job? If you don’t have a job are you looking for one, or simply don’t have one or want or need to work?

Most colleges and universities suggest their undergraduate students work 10 to 15 hours per week. In reality, the most recent government census reported that of the 20 million American college students, 72 percent were working at least part time. Of the roughly 14 million working students, 50 percent work more than 20 hours per week, and another 20 percent work full time year round. When compared to the same statistics in 1970, we see over a 100 percent increase of working college undergraduates.

How do FGCU students compare to these numbers? How many of us Eagles are working, and for how many hours a week?

The Segment surveyed over two dozen of our fellow students and found some interesting statistics.

First, 58 percent of students surveyed said they work at least part time. Of those working only 15 percent work full time year-round, and 78 percent worked 20 hours a week or less. Thirty-six percent work at a restaurant, 21 percent in retail and only one student I spoke to works for the school.

When compared to the national numbers, FGCU students are working less and for fewer hours than the average American undergrad.

The students who aren’t working gave a variety of reasons for not having a job, but the most frequent was the lack of time because of classes and home work. Some are looking for a job while others are in their first year at the university trying to get adjusted before taking on work.

Regardless of your working status, there is certainly no one-size-fits-all way to spend your time at college.

This week I spoke to mothers, Swedish exchange students and new transfer students, all of whom are navigating through their college experiences on different paths.

The one stand out when talking with our peers was the variety of lives we have on our campus, and the diversity that defines us.

Whether you are working full time, part time or not at all, I encourage you to embrace your college career and take full advantage of the time you are here, whatever that means to you.

James is a sophomore majoring in political science. He enjoys bike rides and Florida sunsets.

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