Part-time jobs have become a part of university students’ lives. Situations differ as some work to experience the world while some have no choice but to devote themselves to work for a living. Whichever situations the students are in, it is clear that they have to balance their part-time jobs and school activities together especially during the semester. For some students, this overload of work could feel bitter in their school lives, while for others it could still be a sweet experience. In the June edition, The Granite Tower (GT) interviewed four Korea University (KU) students about working during the semester, and how they felt about such experiences.
Shin Dong-hwi (’18, Architecture)
Starting this year, I began working at a private academy as a teaching assistant who helps students with their studies and assists teachers. I worked around 12 hours a week and I had to reduce my sleeping hours to finish my school assignments. As a result of lack of sleep, I could not participate in class. Also, I could not meet my friends every time I want. Yet, when it comes to the benefits of part-time jobs, I think that working under others and learning how to negotiate with others about salary could be positive aspects.
Yoon Ha-young (’17, Economics)
I worked as a tutor for students, and I was not able to have enough time for my studies and school activities. My grades dropped and during mid-terms, my physical conditions also got severely affected due to the overload of work. I actually liked working and making money, which is why I continued my part-time job. Looking at my grades though, I sometimes regret my past experiences. Still, more than simply earning money, I was pleased by how students developed taking my class, and I think it was rewarding enough and worth my time. Therefore, though an overload of work could be challenging, I think an appropriate number of hours working part-time could be positive for students.
Yoo Joon-Hee (’18, English Language and Literature)
I used to work in a shoe department store as a one-day job. I worked for eight hours, helping customers try on shoes, suggest products, and purchase them. It was a one-day work, so it did not influence my schoolwork a lot compared to other part-time jobs. Still, I was not able to do any schoolwork and chores during the day, which influenced a couple days after work as I tried to finish my assignments. Also, I got sick after working for eight hours. Though my part-time job was not that challenging, I still feel that part-time jobs take away study time and effort from students. Therefore, I think that working over two days a week could be challenging for students during the semester.
Lee Ji-Yu (’19, Electrical Engineering)
I used to work at a board game café, where I had to make drinks and explain the rules of the board games to customers. Since it was during the semester, I mainly worked during the weekends, working around five to six hours. Considering the amount of work the College of Engineering requires, I had a very busy life during the weekdays. Moreover, it was especially challenging for me, since it took three hours to commute. I was not even able to take a rest during the weekends, and I found myself always
being physically tired. I personally think it is way better for students to focus on their schoolwork instead of working part-time during the semester.