College is expensive. We don’t need anyone to tell us that. It can be difficult for many families to make ends meet once they have a child in college. Some parents, unfortunately, have to send their children off on their own hoping they will be able to hold a job while in college. Many colleges and universities work with FAFSA in order to provide a work study program for students. Even then college students are forced to live off of ramen noodles and cold pizza. I myself have carried two jobs throughout my time at Greensboro College working in a restaurant as a server, host, expo manager, delivery driver, and bartender. Alongside that I try to fit in time to make appearances at my work study job with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. I’ve held both of these jobs for about three years now and have found myself fighting those heavy eyes in class. I know that I have the money I need to fill my gas tank and survive off of, not just cold pizza, but cold chicken fingers and microwave easy mac but at what cost? Sure I can pay for college but does that help when, at times, I’m too tired to even make it to class? What is the proper balance that will propel us through the financial troubles of school while allowing us to graduate at the same time? Senior Richard Cameron III has worked throughout his time here at Greensboro College and shared some wonderful insight with me. “With the way the education system is set up now a days, a college degree today is the equivalent of a high school degree in the 1970’s. Today you need a masters or postgraduate degree to qualify for most jobs.” I sat down with senior Ali Robertson to talk to them about their experience working throughout college. Ali had this to share: “Working two jobs while being a full time student has been extremely stressful, but very rewarding at the same time. It’s allowed me to get a lot of real life experience that other people may not have had the chance to get. It’s also taught me how to budget and save my money which I’m learning is a super important skill.” Personally, I can say that working in college has also given me valuable life skills like time management, budgeting, networking, and discipline. Transfer student Kaitlin Fraley told me, “Having a job while being a full-time student definitely has its ups and downs. It has taight me a lot about responsibility and managing my time between the two. It also gives me a chance to gain some real-life experience which motivates me to continue working harder in school. While it can be very stressful and tiring at times, it is rewarding to earn my own money and become a more independent person.” I encourage everyone to go out and get a part time job in college, especially when you have student loans to worry about afterwards. But one things that students really need to remember is that your education and your grades have to come first. Otherwise your money is only going to go towards more school loans for a longer, more tortuous college experience.