My Rival is Wrong and Wrong of Omission
The mental health issues that exist within college students have been heightened dramatically, and working while going to college full-time is a tough role to follow. When students choose whether to work or not during their college years, they’re most likely going to choose the best choice for them. Even if choosing the best choice means it’s the toughest choice, most students do not realize the added hardships that come with the combination of working while going to college full-time. Adding on to these mental health issues of employed college students, students also have to deal with keeping up with their academic performance, extra curricular activities, time management, sleep schedule, and social life. However, others are too busy preaching the benefits of having a job while attending college full-time without mentioning the adversity that comes along with it. Also, others believe that it is not the jobs that students have that is causing their mental health to impair.
There are many reasons why employed college students suffer from mental health issues, yet studies show that college students are suffering from mental health issues for other reasons. Author Elizabeth Scott explains in her article, “Common Causes of Stress in College,” from Very Well Mind, that reasons like academics, socializing, and living more independently while being home sick, are the main reasons why college students stress. However, Scott forgot to mention the stress from employment and working while going to college full-time. For example, Scott casually mentions how academics cause stress when she says, “With challenging classes, scheduling issues to coordinate, difficult tests and other academic obstacles, coupled with the most independent nature of the college learning structure, many new and returning students find themselves studying long, hard hours.”
It is completely understandable how author Scott is finding her reasoning; on the other hand, the difficulties of having a job while handling these academics is worse than not having a job. Being unemployed while going to college full-time means that students would have more time on their hands to deal with their challenging academics, along with longer hours to study and longer hours to sleep. For the working college students, they have to deal with more stress because it is more difficult to find time to study, and with the lack of studying on top of the lack of sleep, this leads to a decline in their academic performance, causing them to stress even more. According to authors Rebecca Mounsey, Michael A. Vandehey, and George M. Diekhoff in their article, “Working and Non-Working University Students: Anxiety, Depression, and Grade Point Average” of Midwestern State University, “One concern about work is that it has the potential to be detrimental to a student’s grade point average (GPA).”
Another issue that argues against the cause of mental health issues of working college students is the social challenges. Many believe that another aspect that is causing students to stress in school is their social life, as in, building their network, making new friends, developing in a new environment, living independently, and being away from home. Scott says, “Finding and living with a roommate, balancing friends with school work (and often part-time jobs), and dealing with the dynamics of young adult relationships can all be difficult, and these challenges can lead to significant stress.”
This causation is true, but it is not the only reason why college students are suffering from mental health issues. Employed college students have to juggle their social life like non-employed college students do, but working college students have the disadvantage of trying to squeeze their social life in their schedule wherever they can. Unemployed students do not understand the advantage they have of having more time on their hands to figure out these hardships and cope with them because college students who do have a job and do not have as much time on their schedule have the disadvantage of figuring out a more difficult way to cope with their every-day obstacles, such as social challenges. Author Rainesford Stauffer starts off her article, “College vs. Paycheck” of NY Times, showing the difference between her employed life and her non-employed friend’s life, “When I said I would miss the biggest party of our first year of college, my friend was dumbfounded. I had to go to work, I explained. ‘Just skip it,’ she said, brow furrowed as she struggled to process my misguided priorities.”
Moreover, many studies like to preach the benefits of working while attending college full-time, but not many are in favor of emphasizing the disadvantages of working at the same time as going to college. For instance, author Miriam Caldwell claims in her article, “Reasons for Working Your Way Through College,” of The Balance, that working during college can avoid debt, provide valuable job experience, teach students time management skills, improve students’ grades, and provide employee benefits.
Point well taken, but the benefits of working while attending college full-time should not diminish the mental health issues that students battle when managing employment and college at the same time. There are pros and cons to every decision, but mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, and many other issues are ignored when students have to make long term decisions, like whether or not they get a job during college. Due to articles like Caldwell’s, persuading students to get a job, as in, “It can seem overwhelming to take on a part-time or full-time job while going to school, but it is possible to do this,” students forget to lay out the pros and cons before they make that decision of getting a job, or that decision of how many hours they should work if they already have a job. Mental health issues are the last objective that articles like this one advocate to their readers.
Lastly, it is agreed that working at the same time as going to college full-time is not the only cause of students’ mental health issues, but neither are just the obstacles of academics and socializing. The main objective is that with the added priority of employment along with keeping up with their academic performance, extra curricular activities, time management, sleep schedule, and social life, working college students suffer worse from mental health issues than the students who do not work at all. With less time on their hands, lack of studying, and lack of sleep, employed college students are the main students who suffer from mental health issues. On the other hand, others are always emphasizing the benefits of having a job while attending college but forget to recognize the adversity that comes with it, like mental health issues. With the working college student perspective battling their mental health issues the worst and most, opposing studies do not realize that they are either wrong, or they are wrong of omission; either way, they are wrong.
Scott, E. (2019, April 12). The Many Stresses of College and How to Manage Them. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
Caldwell, M. (2019, November 20). Here Is a List of Reasons for Working Your Way Through College. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
Mounsey, R., Vandehey, M. A., & Diekhoff, G. M. (n.d.). Working and Nonworking University Students: Anxiety, Depression, and Grade Point Average. Retrieved April 14, 2020
Stauffer, R. (2018, August 28). College vs. Paycheck. Retrieved April 14, 2020.