January 29, 2007

I think last Wednesday was probably my most difficult day of college yet. It started off with my four classes, and I found out that I have tests in three of them next week. I didn’t get much sleep the night before, so I was drinking lots of tea just to get me through to 3:15. After my last class let out, I rushed to my car and went to work.

At work, the computers had been down all day, so they had to hand-write everything that was supposed to go into the computer. The computers came up when I got there, so I had to put all of the written stuff into the computer, as well as maintain some level of organization to the current transactions that needed to be put in. It took roughly four hours of me standing on my feet. Usually, I would have been glad that I was keeping busy, but after six hours of classes, an additional four hours on my feet didn’t feel really great.

I was also bummed as I realized that I would repeat this same routine Friday, Saturday (all day), and Sunday. But you know, I handled it. I got through. I think a key part of college is finding your limits, and then handling them well, even when it’s difficult.

My mom expressed a lot of concern about me working so much while I’m at school. This week was rough, I admit. I worked a lot more this week than I’ve ever been required to work before. Usually I don’t have so many hours. And I think that if this was the norm, I’d probably have to tell my boss that it’s too much.

When you work yourself too much (whether it’s actual work, school work, too many clubs and activities, etc), you don’t perform your best. And how are you supposed to do well in school if you aren’t at your best? So when you’re in college, it’s fine to be involved on campus, and it’s fine to have a job or two. But remember, that’s not why you’re here.

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but at the beginning of last semester I was having some money issues, which I think happens a lot to college students. I had two jobs, and was considering getting a third, because I just wasn’t making ends meet. Asking my parents to send me money weekly or whatever was out of the question. It’s college, I’m supposed to be independent now.

I brought up that I was considering getting a third job, maybe another airport job, to my boyfriend, and he brought up a good point: My objective is not to get a steady job at an FBO. My objective is not to be completely independent and work my butt off to survive. I’m here to go to college and to learn and all that fun stuff. You can’t let tons of other things into your life that are going to impede that goal.

So I asked my dad if he would pay for my car insurance, since that was a big payment that I wasn’t going to be able to make. I mean, I was frantic and stressed out about cell phone bills, credit cards, gas. So I asked for help, and he agreed.

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Sure, this is college, and you are on your own, and part of that responsibility is making your own money, doing things you want to do, and taking care of yourself. But don’t do too much. Don’t burn yourself out and forget that you are also supposed to have some fun while you’re here. Remember that you can always drop a few activities, ask for fewer hours, or call someone back home. Email me if you have any questions. rumbebb5@erau.edu

– Cat

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