University of Washington Alumni Association
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Columns Votes - December 2006
Comments on Working and Going to School
I probably didn’t has as good a time socially as I might have ... though I had a VERY good time and probably didn’t score as high, scholastically, as I might have. Nevertheless I had a successful career and am having a happy life so no complaints ... also, the work was an education too!
I worked part-time up to 40 hours a week at a local business in the U District. Obviously, this was a distraction at the time, but so was student life in 1969-73 all things considered.
A little bit came from awards and also a little from parents, but I estimate I covered 90% of my tuition and living expenses through jobs. Of course this was easier back in the 1980s than it would be now.
When I graduated college I knew what it took to support myself, how to manage my money, and I had no debts whatsoever.
Whilst it is a definite advantage and eases college to have parents who can pay ones full tuition and living expenses, to work part-time during college has its benefits. It requires that students develop a strong sense for time management. Whilst working 12-15 hours a week during college, I definitely learned to use my time effectively. It is something that helped me to integrate myself into the professional world better once I started working. It is however not productive for students to work 20+ hours to finance college. Then they do neither one or the other properly and the primary goal should be learning.
I think I valued my education more because I had to work to be able to afford to go. It is more difficult for students now, however (I graduated in 1977).
I was working 24-32 hours/week during the school year, and full time during the summer to make the money for tuition, school expenses, and living expenses. This did not allow me to experience what being a student was all about (e.g., developing friendships, participating in student/school activities, etc.).
If other options were open I would have taken them, but doing it by myself did give me a strong sense of accomplishment.
I feel that since I was the one paying for my education I took it more seriously and put in more effort (than I would have if my parents had paid for it).
Working to pay for 50% of my education limited my ability to participate in student activities & social events. However my education was by far the most important factor so I do not feel I was “cheated” in any way.
My parents were divorced and both poor. I saved money in high school and worked at least 20 hrs per week and all the summers during my four years and one quarter to get my B.A. I don’t believe it could be done today. However, I was the first in my family (both sides) to get a degree and the hard work became a part of my professional life. I enjoyed my Fraternity life and would recommend students affiliate with a fraternity or sorority. It was worth the major effort.
I worked in hospitals and private care facilities as a physical therapy aide and nurse’s assistant while obtaining my undergrad degree. This gave me excellent preparation for my training and career as a physical therapist. I had an understanding of patient care from the patient’s perspective, not only the professional caregiver’s perspective. Many of my fellow students would have benefited from a better understanding of care beyond the patient-professional relationship.
If you work, attend school and commute every day you learn a certain respect for the opportunities created. Student loans of large magnitude are like unlimited credit cards—friends for life!
Working to pay for my education made me appreciate it more. My parents contributed in the way that they could which was to allow me to live at home. I did miss out on campus activities but still feel my experience was very positive.
Wasn’t easy to earn my way but the required commitment and focus has surely helped me achieve my life time goals.
I worked full time in the summer and Christmas holidays. I worked on campus helping my professors (can’t remember what that was called in the 50s). My parents paid for basic room & board and I paid for my sorority expenses, books, clothes, etc. I had a good government job in Juneau, Alaska, so I was lucky. I did the same for my daughter who worked part time during school at Seafirst headquarters & all summers & paid most of her college that way. Students should appreciate the opportunity for a higher education and they will if they have to pay for a good portion of it....
Students need a requirement to pay part of their education to spur them to take it seriously. I saw other students, who paid no part, goof-off and use it for the parties and social aspect.
It took quite a while, working and going to school, but it was very clear from my work experience why it was that I was at the university.