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Advice for working students

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Mahlghon mentioned that she will relax by watching a set number of Netflix episodes or even just by planning time to play in her phone.

Mahlghon mentioned that she will relax by watching a set number of Netflix episodes or even just by planning time to play in her phone.

Patricia West

Patricia West

Mahlghon mentioned that she will relax by watching a set number of Netflix episodes or even just by planning time to play in her phone.

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For some students at the University of South Alabama, a normal day consists of five hours of class, an eight hour work day and then additional studying when they get off the clock.

If that sounds like you, you’re not alone in the struggle.

According to CBS News, a 2011 U.S. Census report determined that 71 percent of the nation’s 19.7 million college undergraduates were actively employed.

Reise Mahlghon is a USA undergraduate and full time Wal-Mart employee.

Her family immigrated from Germany with little money and thus her parents can not lend her financial help with her education. Mahlgon said she works to get an early start on her student loans.

“Most days it just feels like I’m grinding from dawn to dusk,” Mahlghon said. “When I’m not working, I feel guilty for relaxing. I never really catch a break.”

“My advice to the working student would be to just learn to relax,” Mahlghon stated. “Learn to relax and not feel guilty about it, and learn to schedule time to just do nothing. It will change your life, I swear.”

Mahlghon mentioned that she will relax by watching a set number of Netflix episodes (and not letting herself binge watch) or even just by planning time to play in her phone.

Jennifer Kantor, USA science major and Starbucks employee said she plans relaxation time to avoid burnout.

“My day is really timed out, every hour is filled with something. I try to give myself an hour just to relax every day or else I’ll crash and be useless,” Kantor said.

Kantor insisted that it is important to have balance in all aspects of your life. Plan to take the week of finals off, and budget for it if you have to.

“I save all of my vacation hours to take finals week off,” Kantor said. “Before I got vacation at my job, I would just save my tips all year to take the week off. Do it for your mental health. Finals are stressful enough without working eight hours a day. It’s hard to relate to other students because our stresses aren’t exactly the same. Sure we take the same tests, but they might get five days to study for it while I will get five hours to cram everything into my mind.”

Kantor also said maintaining her social life has helped her cope with the stress.

“Don’t just budget money to focus on school, budget money and reserve time to spend with your friends,” Kantor said. “Just an hour for lunch every week can keep you motivated and also gives you someone to talk to when life starts to get really tough.”

USA Business Major and Starbucks Shift Supervisor Hannah McDuffie gave a final piece of advice to students, and perhaps the most important for some hardworking student-employees to remember.

“College can be difficult, even for someone who only goes to class and studies and does nothing else,” McDuffie said. “Just remember not to be so hard on yourself.”

“Learn from your bad grades and mistakes,” McDuffie said.“Be proud of your grades if it was honestly the best you could do with that you were given.”

With college depression rates being so high, according to a study by Neumann University, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds, it is important to remember that suicide rates amongst young adults are highest in students who work more that 30 hours a week. Students who work more than thirty hours a week are also more likely to drop out compared to those who work 15 or fewer.

Appointment for managing school, work and relationship stress are available through USA Counseling and Testing Services by calling 251-460-7051.

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