Part-time jobs may help students focus

As midterm time rolls around, students may start to regret picking up an on-campus job at the beginning of the semester.

Sure, the money was great for grocery shopping and paying the bills, and the hours weren’t bad when classes were just getting started. But seven weeks into the semester, when the work load increases, you might be wondering if the extra spending money is worth the price of failing your econ class.

Professors will begin entering midterm grades Thursday, and you probably don’t want to see a D or an F show up on URSA or MyIUP – especially if your mom and dad have access to your account.

Will quitting your job resolve this problem?

Contrary to what you might think, having a part-time job does have some benefits for students. Aside from getting some resume-quality experience in your field, a 2008 study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that college students who work between one and 20 hours a week have a higher GPA than students who don’t work at all.

Of 699 non-working students polled, the average college GPA was 3.04, according to the study. Of 323 students polled, the average GPA for students who worked between one and 20 hours a week increased to 3.13.

But, for students who worked more than 20 hours a week, the average GPA dropped to 2.95.

At Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1,554 IUP students are on payroll on campus this semester, according to Michelle Fryling, executive director of communications and media relations.

At The Penn, we know what it’s like to balance work, classes and other activities. It can definitely be challenging at times, but working can keep you focused and can help you develop your time management skills, something students often lack.

If you’re working during midterms, don’t think you need to quit your job. Instead, make time to plan out your schedule. Start working on assignments now that will be due next week. Don’t procrastinate, and stay focused.

Your part-time job just might pay off.