My father immigrated to the United States with about $40, and my mother grew up in a household with five children where money was often tight.’
Needless to say, I was taught the importance of a dollar early on.
While I respect that some of our student body here at UT may not have to work for whatever reason, I do believe there are many things those of us who are employed are gaining.
Granted, not all students who are working are doing so because of financial reasons.’
Though I work to be able to pay my tuition and to support myself, I know there are some students who work for the experience and some students who just need the extra spending money.’ Heck, those club covers and bar tabs add up!
However, I think there are many common factors among students who work, which I believe will benefit us in the future.
Understanding the value of a dollar becomes very important.’ We begin to learn what time and effort means in exchange for money.’ Suddenly, that $135 pair of Jordans becomes three or four nights of tip money.’
Though many students still receive some support from their parents, learning how to work for what we want prepares us for a time when our livelihood will depend solely on ourselves.’
The experience we gain is phenomenal.’
Even if our job isn’t directly related to the field or profession we are looking to go into, we are learning how to work with others (and how to work in general). ‘
A job requires patience with others’mdash;both co-workers and customers’mdash;cooperation, pushing our limits, learning new things and learning to work for and please someone (whether we like them or not).
In addition, for those of us who work in a field similar to our desired profession, the hands-on experience, knowledge and connections we gain are crucial to our future in (gasp) the real world.’
What better way to prepare us for what lies ahead than practice?’
Time management is also something we all gain from working at this age. My job in Ybor City requires late nights; I usually get off around 3:30 or 4 in the morning and don’t find myself asleep until around 5 or 6 a.m.
‘ I have learned (as I am sure most working students have) to manage the tasks of homework, clubs, social activities and other numerous commitments around my hours of work.
While I am absolutely grateful for the economic boost our school and city have received, I’d like to give a written shout-out to those who worked; I want give my support to the working student.
You are not alone in your struggle with sore feet, the fact that you forgot to eat for a couple days or your total of six hours of sleep in a single weekend.
To my employed peers:’ Keep up the good work!’
The benefits are ours to reap. ‘
Anne Napatalung may be reached at email@example.com.