BYU-Hawaii students who aren’t employed said not having a job allows them to focus on studies and have more time but also means they sometimes feel like a burden on their families or less able to use their money to do fun things.
Javiera Quiroga, a freshman studying international cultural studies from Chile, was advised by her parents not to get a job so she could focus on her studies. She explained, “Before I came here, my family would tell me that it was okay for me to not have job so I can adapt and focus on my studies.”
Corbin Maciel, a freshman English major from Oregon, works at the Testing Center, but he said, said, “Having a job distracts you from college.”
Dominique Christensen, a freshman from Wyoming majoring in marine biology, explained, “I had a job last semester. I was working at the Cafe, but I didn’t enjoy it. I decided not to work and just focus on my studies and school because I was taking harder classes this semester.”
As Quiroga searches for a job after getting used to the dynamic of college, she quoted her parents’ advice. She said, “My parents told me, ‘Trust us, you need to focus on the important things and not be to stressed out.’ They told me to understand my priorities so my well-being would be ensured. Eventually I managed to gain the skills to perform the way you need to in order to get used to this place.”
Now that he’s had semesters where he’s worked and semesters where he hasn’t, Christensen said he feels having a job is the better option because “you can only do so much here in Laie.” Listing the benefits, he said, “It gives you money, you get to meet new people and gain new skills.”
But Maciel learned he’d prefer not having a job while in college. “It would allow me to dedicate more time to my studies and dedicate more time to really learning the material as opposed to having to choose what I can do and what I don’t do. I have to balance my job and my school, and it makes it difficult to manage time.”
Christensen weighed the pros and cons of student employment: “I can focus a lot of time on studying. I can get ahead in classes and not have to stress a lot. I’m also able to go to the beach more often. It would be good to have a job when it’s raining. Also it’s hard to hang out with friends because they’re always working. You just have similar schedules with people when you have a job.”
Quiroga said, “The consequences to not having a job are that I feel like a burden to my family.” She explained, “If I don’t perform academically perfect even though I may try hard … that’s a constant pressure.
“I don’t have the same routine as my classmates. Other students are actually doing both. … My only job is to get good grades. So if I don’t, I would feel frustrated because I just have one job.”
Though being able to focus solely on school, Quiroga said, “I think not having the freedom to administer your own money, you are limited. I feel I have a great responsibility with the money I do have because it’s not mine.” She said she wants to make her parents proud and ensure they’ve made a good investment in her.