Full time student, Part time worker

It is 6:30 am  and my alarm is going after I have already hit the snooze button twice.  I get out of bed, get dressed, brush my teeth and grab my breakfast and lunch and walk out of my dorm toward City Convenience for the start of my eight hour shift starting at 7 am.  It is still dark out and just about every other senior on campus is peacefully sleeping after another successful night celebrating the second semester.

That scene is pretty much the norm for me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning as those are the days I work.  What about classes you ask?  Well, I have all my classes on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am to about 6 pm usually, with the exception of one Monday night class.  So why would I put myself through this in my senior year of college, you ask?  Well, because I have to.

I am a first generation college student who comes from a lower middle class (to be generous) family.  I have been able to attend Boston College in large part due to a healthy grant from Boston College as well as Federal aid and loans while supporting myself throughout college by working a part time job all four years to cover the cost of food and general social activities.

This leaves, in general, not very much free time for anything resembling a social life.  However, I was aware this would happen when I decided to enroll in a university that costs as much as Boston College does and knowing I would not be able to receive much aid from home.  That being said, it can still be frustrating.  Frustrating to have to sacrifice the occasional weekend night to stay in and do homework.  Frustrating to not be able to go out with friends every time they go to bars because I know I have to buy groceries for the week.  Frustrating to have to wake up early every morning (usually on minimal sleep) to work a dead end job just for a pay check.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Call it the American Dream if you will, but I was always raised to see education as the great equalizer: a way for someone to work hard and succeed no matter what or where they came from.  My blue collar parents always instilled in me that they wanted me to have a better life than they did and that education was the way for that happen.

Go ahead and call it sappy if you want, but I have bought into it whole heartedly to justify the hard work of my parents and validate their hope for me.  Failure was never really an option for me.  And if that means handling a full course load along with a part time is what it takes, then so be it.

Photo Credit: Melanie Burger

Anthony Clericuzio I am currently an education grad student at Boston College. I enjoy sports, writing (articles and poetry) and exploring Boston. I also love to cook and in another life I would have been a chef.

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9 Responses to “Full time student, Part time worker”

  1. Carlee Mallard

    Power to you, because I know I never could have done that. Sure I had a part-time job for 10-20hrs/week while in school, but it was on-campus and when I wasn't busy ushering patrons to their seats I was reading for school or jotting notes down for my next essay. I was lucky to find a job that paid well enough and gave me the flexibility to do my homework while at work.

    For me, my parents always told me that until I graduate, school is my full-time job and that I should take it seriously. So I never really saw holding down a heavy work schedule as a viable option while in school, and looking back on it I still don't think I could have done as well as I did in school had I held such a demanding job.

    Do you think your grades ever suffered because of your work schedule?

  2. Francie

    Have faith. I was in a similar situation in college way back when. I survived on a scholarship, grants, loans, a part-time job at a Burger King and ramen noodles. Today, I work for a university in a career I enjoy, make a good salary and have a great family. I look back with pride on those days and the fact that I put myself through college. I hope that you — and your prospective future employers — realize the value of you putting yourself through college without Mom and Dad footing the bill.

  3. Anthony Clericuzio

    I am not really too sure. It has certainly made me be more efficient in my (limited) time I have. So I guess that since I have less time to get more school work done then it is possible.

  4. Pamella

    I know exactly how you feel. I’m on the same boat; full time student, part-time worker and freelancer, I have classes in the mornings, work/gigs in the evening. I’m on my third year now and don’t worry, it gets better. Just stay motivated, remember your goals and schedule your time well to study, work, and most especially, to relax/unwind.

    • anthony clericuzio

      Haha thanks for the words of encouragement but I actually ended up graduating last May and have moved onto my career.

      But I will certainly verify what you said. It does get better and eventually pays off.


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