Students at work: jobs and school in the time of COVID


Davis Cobb, correspondent

Though primarily focused on their education, the option is always available to students to put their free time towards earning a little extra experience–potentially alongside some additional income. Many students have or are looking into working while attending college, for one reason or another.

“I have been working at my current job for almost 2 years now, about as long as I’ve been in college, and I chose it because it is something that is really interesting and could help me make a great living,” Student A said.

Student B stated, “This job allows me to focus on my studies while making extra money for groceries. It also allows me to apply what I am learning in my major.” 

The spread of the pandemic, however, has made working conditions difficult or impossible for some students to work or find work.

“No one is hiring,” Student C claimed. “And if they are, you need 2+ years of experience so they don’t have to train you. It’s so frustrating.”

Student D stated, “My job hasn’t changed too much besides having to wear a mask in the office and seeing less people come in. I have been lucky in the matter, considering other people have had their jobs altered way more.”

“Being required to be physically present at work and class during a pandemic has been disheartening and worrying to me. 90% of what I do can be done at home,” Student E said. “As far as looking for jobs, that process is mostly virtual and has been for years. It’s only the transition of interviews to only virtual that has changed.”

Other students, however, have no interest in working alongside their studies, but for some, this may be more of a necessity than a choice.

“Mostly no, I am glad to be free to do other necessary tasks at home, groceries, and due to being sick for a year. I have had many doctors appointments and an upcoming major surgery so I am thankful I don’t have to worry about working,” Student F reported.

“Right now I have a full load of courses so I do not currently want a job,” stated Student G. “I feel like jobs, though they say they are flexible, are not actually flexible, and I do not want to compromise my education at the expense of earning extra money when I can just live within my current means instead.”