Some money, experience, sense of purpose…students live the experience

It is not rare for students to hear from their teachers or parents the stories of great personalities who worked to support their families and burnt the midnight oil so that they excelled in studies too. So, it is not surprising that the latest trend among students seems to be to start earning while they study even if many are motivated by the wish for financial independence as those in western countries are. Days packed with hectic schedules with little time to breathe are not uncommon. However, many students seem to manage juggling around with work and academics without much ado.

The Hindu EducationPlus spoke to a cross-section of students across the State to find out what they think about working while studying.

Sridevi Nayak K. (second year B.A., Manipal Institute of Communication, Manipal): When you work, you interact with diverse people. This not only provides you with rich experience but also makes you more responsible, and the responsibility extends to academics as well and makes you want to study better. Also, I don't think that anyone can study throughout the day, so there is nothing wrong in using three to four hours in order to earn. I would like to get a taste of independence and I am looking for a job.

Mahesh M. (third year B.A., Vijaya Evening College, Bangalore): I came to Bangalore from Kollegal looking for a job, and joined this course prompted by my own interest to study. Right now, I work as an attendant in another college nearby, and I ensure that I always attend class. But many times, I am really exhausted after work and tend to doze off during the first class. All the same, I do not find it too hard to cope with studies. I pay attention in other classes and study for a few hours at night from about a week before the exams. Most other students in my class too are placed in a similar situation, so I don't feel out of place because of my interests and study habits there.

Harini K. (second year B.Com, NMKRV College for Women, Bangalore): I don't want to be a burden to my parents anymore (though they never seem to feel that I'm one), so I'm trying to get a job in some bank. If I do get a job, I'll make sure that I join some institute that offers classes during the weekends because I'm aware that I need my “self time” no matter what else happens. I don't think working will affect my grades in any manner as I always study only just before the exams.

Faizan Aziz (final year, R.V. Engineering College): My friend and I regularly do some small technology-related projects for companies, and I realise that working and trying to balance out my studies can be disadvantageous in many ways. But it can also have its advantages since these projects are mostly connected to what we study in our course. For one, it really helps improve my understanding of the subject; I find that I have to spend a lot less time studying than I otherwise would have.

Due to my work, I also make better use of my time as I value it more. Perhaps, my grade may come down by one percentage or so, but it hardly matters at all because the difference is negligible and what I learnt in the process is of great importance to my career.

Ashwitha S. Prabhu (second year B.A., Surana College): After I'm done with college for the day I usually go to my mother's tailoring shop to help her out. Sometimes, she does pay me for the work that I do, but I mainly go there to make her job easier. Since I go to work at the end of the day, I sometimes feel tired and sleepy then, but as studies is the first priority for me, and my mother also agrees that it should be my prime focus, I will never compromise on my studies for anything else. Together, we make sure that I have adequate time for college work and exam preparation.

Sowmya B. (second year B.Com., APS College): I work as an assistant to an auditor, and my job doesn't interfere with my college timings. They make sure at work that I'm given a month's leave during my exams, but I usually do struggle a little when I'm given assignments for internal assessment from college. Anyway, I give equal priority to college as well as work, so I don't have too much trouble coping with either.

Anindhita Ramachandran (first year B.A., Mount Carmel College): I don't think that I could work while studying as I wouldn't want to lose out on my leisure time. I'm sure it will prove to be extremely stressful, and I wouldn't be able to study hard enough. Maybe, if I were equally passionate about the job and the course, my interest for them would drive me to manage both fairly well, but as of now, I definitely cannot see myself doing that.

Anoop Shetty (second year B.A., Surana College): I have applied for a job at a call centre because I think it's high time I stood on my own feet, but honestly, I don't think it's possible to manage studies and work simultaneously.

One of the two will have to suffer because I firmly believe that you can concentrate on only one thing at any given point in time. So, though it might not seem obvious to you in the beginning, you would have to give one priority over the other.