Working on Campus: Two Student Perspectives
BY DIEGO GOMEZ
Place yourself in the position of having to work two jobs and being a full-time student at Cal State Long Beach. It may seem chaotic for some, if not impossible for others.
Erin Pacheco, 19, is a pre-liberal studies major who works in Customer Service at the Associated Students Inc. Business Office. Having to pull out all-nighters doing homework is usual for Pacheco. Her day begins at 8:30 a.m. and goes through 1:30 p.m., after which she still needs to attend class and show up to her other part-time job.
Pacheco said even though she feels her jobs are flexible, the struggle is real.
“It’s about to be my first year here, every Tuesday and Thursday I come here,” she said. “I am all work first, then go into study mode and then have two more classes after. I also work part time outside as a worker at Cambrian Homecare. Fortunately my jobs are very lenient, but sometimes I ask myself, what did I get myself into.”
Pacheco said if she manages to get some sleep, she feels her job and student responsibilities are achievable.
“I go to sleep pretty late, probably at 1 a.m. is the earliest I get to sleep,” she said. “There are days I don´t sleep at all and I just run on coffee and energy drinks. It is doable if I plan ahead, but I am a college student, and sometimes I procrastinate.”
According to the CSULB website, more than 100 on- and off-campus jobs are available to undergraduate and graduate students. As well as according to the student employment handbook, the university´s mission is to provide useful supportive services to the various academic and administrative programs, give students valuable experience related to their educational goals and assist with financial support to help meet the cost of attending college.
Gregory Larios, 20, is a Communication Studies major minoring in Business Marketing who works as a Sales Associate at the University Student Union. Larios has been working on campus for three years and is happy with his job and school duties.
Larios said the university has supported him to reach his short- and long-term goals.
“Working at campus gives you a flexibility,” he said. “USU and ASI know you’re a student, they know you are pursuing a degree and a higher standard of living. They´ll level with you to give you hours that they know fits your schedule. It’s all about accommodation. They help you to be as successful and as financially stable as possible.”
Larios still has his struggles. He has to pay bills, school dues, and rent at the fraternity house he lives in. He is also saving up for a car because he gave his previous car to his mother.
He said hard work pays off eventually.
“This week especially with midterms they have been kicking my butt,” Larios said. “This takes a toll on you but I am here for an education to better my life and my way of living, so you just got to work at it. Nothing that is worthwhile comes easy to you.”
Just as Larios supports his mom, Pacheco is there for her mom as well. Working on campus and part-time at Cambrian Homecare, she helps her family battle financial difficulties.
Pacheco said she is obligated to have two jobs, but works fine under that pressure.
“I have to do it,” she said. “My mom is a single mother. I help her with the bills. I kind of enjoy it. It prepares me for the real world out there. I like keeping myself busy, I work best under pressure, so I enjoy it.”
Having students working around campus creates an environment of a small city where students commute and build relationships with other students.
Larios said that he enjoys that student vibe at his job and around campus.
“The culture here is great,” he said. “You work with students, for students,” he said. “Your supervisors know you are a full-time student and there is that family vibe. I´ve been working in campus for three years. I used to work at the Business Administration building. It’s a different change of pace but I enjoy it, students interact with me and I get to meet all kinds of people. It´s a great plus working here at USU."
Maximilien Robespierre, influential figure of the 18th century French Revolution once said: “When work is a pleasure, life is a joy but when it feels like a duty, it becomes slavery.” Having a job and being a full-time student pursuing a degree is a frenetic journey for anyone who experiences this.
Larios finds himself having some hectic days, but advises other students to take initiative and work to pursue their educational objectives.
“No one is going to spoon feed you,” he said. “We are adults and we have to become more adherent of our responsibilities. Get out of your comfort zone. That is how you grow and how you become a better person.”