Students with jobs: Making a living while going to school

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Not many students can afford the luxury of not having to work during their college years, and holding a part-time job while taking classes definitely has its ups and downs.

Many undergraduates have to work to be able to be able to afford tuition costs and living expenses. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010 almost half of the full-time college students were working while going to school.

Sarah Bain, 18, a full-time student and employee at the BYU Bookstore, rings up a purchase as a cashier

Working students can be put into two different categories: those who focus mainly on school and work part-time jobs to pay their bills, and those who work full-time and fit classes in when they can. Each working student’s situation is different, but they all have one necessary skill in common: time management.

Scott Longhurst, 22, a finance major employed by the Creamery on Ninth, said he has to work to support himself through school.

“I need a job to support myself through school, but I choose to work as well,” Longhurst said. “My favorite thing about working at the Creamery is enjoying the fun atmosphere and the other employees.”

Skyler Gibbs, a senior from Littleton, Colo., studying finance, said one of his biggest challenges while holding a job at the BYU law school as a research assistant was prioritizing between tasks at work and schoolwork.

“I had to make sure my job was done right and that my tasks were complete,” Gibbs said. “I had to make work my first priority at times, but it also helped me manage my time better for school. I was always doing something productive.”

Some students, like Gibbs, conveniently holdĀ jobs on or near campus, while others work away from campus or even own their own company like junior Logan Bird, co-founder of Lyke Watch Company.

Bird said owning a company with his friend, J.D. Schoen, has enhanced his learning experience despite his busy schedule and the demands of operating a service-oriented business.

“I believe that my job has provided an excellent learning experience because I have the opportunity to apply what I learn at school through trial and error,” Bird said. “School does allow for great learning, but so much of learning is doing, and I have learned more in the past year with Lyke than I have in three years of college.”

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