By Brenda Holst

We all had our time in high school, and we thought that was tough. Then we got to college, and there’s no doubt that college is a whole different level of hard work.

Between the 15-18 credits students typically take each semester, we still have to find time to form relationships; keep up with the relationships we left behind; find work to pay for school, gas, insurance or any other bills that demand our attention and manage to accumulate some money for when you just want to treat yourself to a meal that does not taste like cardboard.

The Mental Health America states, “70% of college students are stressed about finances. With work, school, activities, and friends all demanding attention, many students struggle with balancing and prioritizing the different areas of their lives.” So how does one individual balance all of this?

I interviewed my friend Kaylee Porter, who attends California Baptist University, and asked her how she balances school and work. Porter is a full-time student who works 15 hours a week to save money for college, gas and any school supplies she may need.

Porter responded, “First and foremost, I prioritize God.”

Due to the fact that I have acquired some loans within the two years I’ve been in school, I work two jobs to pay off interest every month on a $27,000 student loan. I also make sure that I pay my insurance, phone bill, food, and set aside money in a savings account. I have acquired some scholarships but that is still not enough to cover school, and if you’re like me and paying for college on your own, then you can imagine the stress.

The Big Future College Board states, “Before getting a job, think about how you will handle juggling your work and your schoolwork.” So, I looked at my schedule and found the time that would work best for me. I determined that I could work mornings for my first job and then nights for my second. This still leaves me time to do homework but not a lot for socializing.

To be honest, I think there’s something that a college student who is working is going to have to give up and for me, that’s going to events that the school is putting on. Between the jobs, classes, homework and going back home to see my family, there isn’t very much room left for being involved in the NU community.

I go into every job slowly and know that school comes before work. “Balancing school and work is easier with family support,” The Big Future College Board said.

So whatever you do, make sure you have a good support system to unload any stress. Like my friend Porter said, she prioritizes God first and “with God, all things are possible.”