How Does Working Affect Students’ Academic Success? – The Centurion

How Does Working Affect Students’ Academic Success? – The Centurion

Many students hold jobs over the course of their time at college and it’s no wonder why. Often students need jobs to support themselves, pay for school, and at times support their families. But it isn’t easy balancing two things at once. That leaves the question, how do students’ jobs affect their grades?

Bucks has no shortage of students balancing work and their studies. This isn’t any different compared to other community colleges as well. According to a study from the University of Pennsylvania, for students who enroll in a two-year college program, almost two-thirds spend more than half of their time in college working twenty or more hours per week in outside employment. For students who enroll in a four-year program, that number drops to about two-fifths.

Jenna Lowenthal, a Bucks student, is one of these people. “Balancing college and work can be difficult for me to balance” she says. “I get used to the feeling of working under pressure, which can happen a lot if you are trying to make time for multiple things. I’ll say I can do it later, but by the time I get to do it, I stress myself out, which leads to not applying myself as much as I wanted to.”

Journalism student Raeanne Raccagno, 20, spoke of her schedule saying, “I babysit so a good amount of my hours is happening in the morning before classes, so I will be late by a couple of minutes, but thankfully my professor is understanding.”

Raccagno talked about how babysitting is the only thing that works for her due to her busy schedule with school and extracurriculars. “I don’t have time to do homework while babysitting in the afternoons and it can be pretty draining, sometimes that leads to a lot of procrastination and then I feel like I’m not handing in my best work” she added.

American State and Local Govt. Professor Diane Rice also took note of things she’s seen from students in her class who work. “There’s a lot more pressure on students now than before” she says. Rice reflected on previously being able to play videos in class and hold discussions about them afterwards. “Now we have to watch it before class and not in class because of student headspace,” she added.

There was also a discussion about whether workplaces take student’s time for community college seriously. “There’s still a stigma about community college and it’s not being taken as seriously as it should be,” Rice says. She talked further about student’s family and job responsibilities taking away from focus on school, hurting students’ grades in the process. “I hear about students being heavily busy in family life where there’s a second marriage and younger siblings needing to be taken care of,” she added.

Both students and professors agree that it can be difficult to focus on handing in their best work with so much outside noise from a job. This can harm students’ grades and take their mind off learning.

The research also backs this. The UPenn study also found that for students attending two-year colleges, students who work every month receive on average 0.24 standard deviations lower GPAs. put this into plain English.

Lowenthal positively reflected on her experience working and helping her grades by saying, “A positive is it makes me want to take time management more seriously because structure is important when it comes to balance.” This is something that other students may have to begin thinking about as well if they want to further enhance their grades

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