By Olivia Burns, Contributing Writer
Picture this: You’re sitting at your desk writing a ten-page essay. You just came home from an eight-hour shift and it’s ten-thirty p.m. You have school tomorrow at eight a.m. and you still have at least two hours of homework to finish. You’re tired and very stressed.
This scenario is typical for many college students who also have to work a full- or part-time job. College students today have to somehow find time for school, work, homework, a social life, and everything else life entails.
So how do they do it? How do they maintain a good GPA, hold down a job and a social life, all without majorly stressing out? Students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth share their stories.
Michaela Long, a senior sociology major from Hyannis and current resident of New Bedford, says although she enjoys staying busy, her hectic life can take a toll on her. Long works at J.J Best Banc & Co, a financing office for modern and classic automobiles and vessels.
While working there over thirty hours per week, she also attends her six classes on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays from eight to five p.m. With three to four hours a night of homework, Long fits in time to do work anytime she can – whether it be late at night after work or right before class.
Although she manages her school work and job well, she has trouble juggling her social life, especially romantic interests.
“I have found that [work and school] has affected my love life. Considering I am so busy, I find it hard to make time for individual or romantic interests, after a while they just give up,” said Long.
Emma Sylvia, junior English major from Dartmouth, also finds it difficult to work around her busy schedule. Sylvia works at the Writing and Reading Center about six hours per week on campus while also working at Marshalls in Fairhaven fifteen hours per week.
Like Long, Sylvia commutes to UMass D, with four hours of school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and six hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She finds that her romantic and social lives are greatly impacted by her lack of time.
“I have a boyfriend up in Amherst, so I have to plan our visits and strategize my assignments and retail job to work around that,” said Sylvia.
“Most of my social life is texting or Snapchatting friends that are far away and hanging out with my friends here on campus during school hours.”
Whether these students are at work or at school, stress is always a factor. Each student finds that stress comes in waves. Since these upperclassmen are used to the stress, they find it necessary to find their own outlets to cope.
“To take my mind off of these things I’ll play XBOX or watch movies or TV. Having a talk with one of my parents, friends, or my boyfriend helps me to vent, too,” said Sylvia.
Tristin Flood, senior psychology major, said “the most difficult thing would be coping with the exhaustion.” With six classes, work at a New Bedford gift shop and at the Reading and Writing Center, Flood relieves her stress by organizing her home and resting.
Long, like Flood, also finds peace in cleaning. “I usually clean my house, like A LOT. I will scrub basically every last inch of my house, almost daily. When that is all set, I’ll usually take walks at the beach or downtown.”
Although these UMass Dartmouth students have very busy and tough schedules, they try to stay optimistic through it all.
Time management and stress relief are key to surviving in a world filled with deadlines, and sometimes staying positive and just pushing through is all these students have.
“I mean, I’m twenty-two years old and my grandmother has more fun than I do on a day to day basis – she has a better social life than me,” said Long. “I usually just try to hope this will all be worth it in the end.”