Students say studies suffer while working in college

by Leigh McGowran

Students speaking to The College View said their studies were affected more when they had to work while in college rather than in secondary school. Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

The College View spoke to students about their experiences balancing education both in secondary school and third-level education.

This followed reports that one in five students aged 15 and over have a part time job while in school, according to the Irish Examiner

“I got my first job doing gardens part time at 16. I needed cash. At 18 I worked three months to save for college. The job was exploiting other young people with no contracts. By the end of the first week everyone had been fired and a new crowd of folks were in.” said Vincent O’Reilly, who studies game design in Institute of Technology Blanchardstown.

The report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said students who work for pay score lower in science and are more likely to report feeling like an outsider at school.

However, students speaking to The College View said their studies were affected more when they had to work while in college rather than in secondary school.

“I worked in a cafeteria at 16. I was the second eldest sibling in my house and it was expected of me to start earning money. It tired me out while I was in secondary school, but it didn’t really affect my studies until I was in college.” said Cathal Reynolds, a social care worker.

“It’s kinda an expectation that students work themselves to the bone, it’s kinda in our culture I suppose.” Reynolds said.

Eoin Ryan, who studied culinary arts in Dublin Institute of Technology, took a job as a charity worker while in college.

“I was with PAWS for six months. I did not enjoy that at all, it was soul destroying going door to door. I needed the money to keep myself afloat during college basically. I missed a few classes, but I pulled through.” he said.

Vincent worked as a kitchen porter in temple bar while in college.

“That paid six euro an hour. The chefs would drink during work and be hung over and made the waitresses cry. They bullied the other younger KPs. There was no contract so I got terrible hours.” he said.

Leigh McGowran
Image Credit: The Odyssey Online