What It’s Like To Be A Working College Student: '‘Di na ako puwede mag-cram kasi lagot ako'
Studying is one thing to be stressed about, but imagine hustling on the side, too. That’s a different kind of self-fulfillment. IMO, working students are one of the most responsible and industrious people I have ever met. Despite their busy schedules, you can see them around campus with smiles on their faces, and sometimes, they will still try to stop and just catch-up with you. Daming time!
Life tip: If you want to learn how to manage time, they are the best people to get in touch with. I swear! One of them is Xeina Campaña, a second-year International Hospitality Management student at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. She shares her rough yet the life-changing journey of being a former working student.
On choosing the ‘working student’ life
Xeina worked as a barista at Starbucks last October, and just resigned recently. Her reason for taking the job opportunity was to gain work experience as early as now and to earn money of her own. “Basically just getting myself ready after I graduate,” she said. “Second, gusto ko ng sarili kong pera. Like, pride ko ‘yun na I don’t have to ask for money from my parents every time I want something. I wanted to be responsible for myself.”
She also shared how she prefers hands-on experiences compared to just taking in blackboard lessons inside the four corners of their classroom. “I felt bored at some point sa school. Feeling ko I needed to learn more than just that.” More often than not, life experiences have greater value to our growth as an individual rather than bombarding yourself with the technical lessons in school.
You have to continuously cope with the demands of work, school, and social life
Sleep deprivation is the number one enemy of all working students—it’s like their kryptonite—and it is inevitable for them not to encounter this as they balance two (or more!) schedules every day. “Mayroong times talaga na four hours lang tulog ko tapos papasok na naman sa school bukas.”
Sacrifices are expected to be done when you become a working student. Sometimes you have to choose between sleep or going to that 7:30 a.m. class, to eat lunch or just use the time to go to your group meeting or finish your paperwork. “Minsan ‘di ko na alam saan ko isisingit ang paggawa ko ng mga homework and papers,” she admits. “Kasi ‘di ko rin magawa sa work, ang breaks ko saktong magpapahinga at kakain lang talaga ako.” It is a constant juggle of responsibilities and more often than not—even if you don’t want to—you will have to spare some responsibilities to tend to the other ones.
There was a point that she felt really guilty because she wasn’t 100 percent available for her groupmates, even having a hard time executing her part because she is always MIA due to her working schedule. “May instances na group work. ‘Di ka maka-join kasi may work ka. So, all you’re left to say is, ‘Sige ako na lang sa mga hindi niyo kaya,’ or ‘Tirhan niyo na lang ako ng gagawin.’” She explains. “Siyempre feel ko left out na talaga ako sa school pero ‘di ako left out sa work. Alam mo ‘yong meron talagang side na okay at hindi okay.”
How she became a dean’s lister even with the constant challenges in-between
You can never go wrong with time management—it’s everyone’s key to success. “‘Di na ako puwede mag-cram kasi lagot ako. Parang ginawa ko imbis na isang bagsakan ko gawin ang mga requirements, ginagawa ko one step at a time. ‘Di bale na ‘di matapos agad at least may improvement araw-araw,” she said.
Most importantly, don’t forget about your own needs. Pay attention to what your mind and body need. Because if your mental and physical health are at risk, you will be encountering more complications in the end. “Hindi rin ako masyado nagiging hard sa sarili ko kasi alam kong ginagawa ko naman ang kaya ko for the day.” Always remember that small wins for the day are also considered, well, wins!
You get non-monetary benefits, too
Besides another bullet on her resume and good pay, she also built various connections she can utilize in the future, like the managers and colleagues she worked with. With her daily interaction with complex customers and co-workers, she also got the opportunity to expand her social circle and develop her interpersonal skills, and with that, she was introduced to different perspectives in life—making her more open, understanding, and empathizing.
She also began to feel the adulting life. “Nagiging responsible ka sa time mo. Unlike noong regular student pa ako, hawak ko talaga oras ko. Kahit saang gala, sige go lang. Pero noong working [student] na ako, iniisip ko kung worth it ba ipagpalit ang rest ko sa gala or no,” she explained. You would indeed start to weigh in your wants and needs, making you more disciplined and develop self-control - the primary traits that you should have in order to compensate for the different demands when you graduate from college.
Some advice to take note of if you are currently a working student
A piece of advice from Xeina to other working students, “Always get enough rest! Hindi mo kailangan i-exhaust ang sarili mo nang sobra-sobra just to say natapos mo lahat ng gawain mo. You’re only human. You do what you can for that day and continue it tomorrow. Your acads and job are very important pero mas importante na you stay healthy, mentally and physically. Also, time management and discipline are key to balance it out. Don’t be too hasty sa decisions kasi you might end up in the wrong places. And also, treat yourself [kapag may] sahod na, you deserve it after hustling.”
If you’re planning to be one, here are the things you need to consider
As Xeina told me, you have to first consider everything in your life because the moment you step into the world of being a working student, inevitable changes will occur in a snap. Working is no joke. It is a commitment, you have to be strong to accept the sacrifices and adjustments that are being demanded of you.
But apart from everything, the most essential lesson that you will be obtaining is discipline. "Kasi ako before I applied [for a job], I asked myself kung kailangan ko talaga ‘to. I mean, money wasn’t the main issue but I just needed something para maging interesting naman everyday life ko," Xeina explains. "But then noong nagwo-work na ako, na-realize ko na hindi lang pala siya pampalipas ng oras. Kasi I needed to commit and it was hard to say no when duty calls."
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these sheets that exactly remind me of how I gushed in between my pillow and space you filled in the longing of my burned sorrow put smile to my sober face just like how a three year old receive her lollipop
i searched you everywhere and here you are laying down beside me in my imagination the walls that our screens built a boundary and an obvious message that says i can never have you because you wear clerical shirt and obviously you loved someone else before me
oh god, do I really want this forbidden love? that only exist in my imagination? that only exist through my words? would you, meine liebling, notice me and my art one second? because I am dying to say I love you.
A Simple Learner Who's a Great Pretender
Maybe I'm just a learner, not a weirdo. A learner that knows how to listen and pretend. A simple learner who's a great pretender. Pretending to be slightly dumb enough not to be judged and criticized by those who do not appreciate my existence. We surround ourselves with people who's levels are either beyond or below our intellectual behavior, because as for reality, people may use you either for their success or your downfall. Since then, people tend to judge someone who has an intellect with things they shouldn't be. Making them a criticizer, and most of all, calling them weird.
Honestly, I'm one of this "weirdo" who actually loves to learn things, and for the record, I'm bullied and stressed out for making myself not to learn more and go with the flow to dumbness I had. Have you ever feel being assigned to some task where you know every process to make it easier and faster to finish but turns out to hesitate to voice out because some of your mates put themselves in charge. There are times where I know what to do, what to say, or how to react, but kept myself silent and pretend not to know anything that may help us. Maybe it's a good thing to just go with their ideas and learn from their perspectives, but sometimes you can't control it and says something, and once again called to be a weirdo and let you finish the work by yourself.
It's annoying that you only know one process yet they gave you the whole work and let you finish it by yourself because they insist that "MAGALING KA DIBA?". It's not your fault being an intellectual person, knowing such things that may help you to pursue your dreams, and have the basic knowledge about something. You don't need to know everything, just the basics. And as for those people who do not appreciate your existence, let them be and continue what's the best for you. In some cases, you'll be annoyed by this but most of the time you'll be thankful for it. Not for now but maybe later. Just be yourself either a weirdo, a great pretender, or a simple learner, and always remember to lower your voice and behavior because no one loves that.
Just be a great pretender not to hear any runts and be a good learner that appreciates everything. It's out of nowhere thoughts of mine, but simply I leave you this my favorite life quotation; "Don't introduce yourself, Let your success introduce you"
Dear me in six years, I wonder how life will treat you when you’re already 26 years old. Will you be financially stable? Will you be working in an advertising agency while pursuing everything about the arts? Will you be doing freelancing and living in a condo by then? I don’t know since things are very uncertain. I hope by the time you graduate from college and face the real meaning of the world, you’ll know what the real purpose of doing and living in the art will be.
I know it’s been so tough ever since you turned 20 but that’s how life works, I guess. There will be a lot of hopes and trials, breakdowns, and breakthroughs but I have high hopes of you becoming the better version of yourself. You always do, though. You were never a quitter. Making decisions is getting harder and harder as you grow but I hope it doesn’t make you stop doing what you really love to do. You will face different people with different perspectives. You will feel like a stranger once again, it’s like you were back in your freshmen year. It’s going to be tougher than you’ve expected but you can do it. I believe you can.
Most of the time, people's perception of us as a strong person makes us feel that we are not entitled to be vulnerable because they might be disappointed for seeing our weak spots. And so when we are hurting, we are often scared of extreme emotions and so bury our feelings. We deny them, trying to avoid the pain we feel.
But by doing that, we are just allowing it to come back to us and haunt us. And when it comes back, it might be stronger and it will be harder for us to get over it than when we faced them first. I realized it just now that facing those emotions will scare them until they're gone. The saying 'Let it hurt until it hurts no more' goes true. Admitting your pain to yourself doesn't make you weak. It only proves that you are strong enough to acknowledge such extreme emotions without avoiding them. We are humans and it's okay if we hurt sometimes.
Before, sliding over the rainbows
Now, our hearts are bruised
Days once full of love and laughter
Became dawns of forfeited ever after
Smiles that bring ticklish sensations
Turned to cold question and answer
Figuring who would be the next instructor
The queen’s awake
Grappling to the happiness that the sorrow and sadness take
Going back to all the promises he couldn’t make
Poetry #2: YOUR VOICE
When you talk, your voice brightens my days. You provide me comfort in all the little things that you do. Your deep and mellow voice sends a tingling feeling inside me that makes me want to keep you in my life. I love talking to you every time, every day, every night and every minute if I could. You're someone just simply amazing.