OPINION: Student workers deserve more recognition


Gabrielle Korein

Photo Illustration of Distraught student worker overwhelmed while doing homework on the job.

Morgan Love, Staff Writer

When I came home from school for break, I was excited to spend hours upon hours sleeping with my many cats. I hadn’t been home for longer than two weeks in almost six months. Unfortunately, even as I prepped to be home and relaxed, I was also haunted by the fact that I would need to start working again once I was home.
I have a work-study job (shoutout Holy Name of Jesus School) and I rarely get to be free from work while at school, but still having to work while at home can truly bum you out. I don’t get paid much in my work-study job despite a recent, much needed pay increase. I came home, and still needed to work at my dreaded job, sucking up my tears and hating every second of it. I feel for the students coming home to work more. It is not enjoyable, nor what many of us look forward to on our “workless” break. I often wonder why as a student I am constantly bound by work. On top of my academic work, my physical labor is just another added stressor to my life. How I wish I could be at home, curled up with CoCo, my eldest cat, rewatching Carrie Bradshaw fight for her relationship with Big while eating my mom’s homemade gumbo. How I dream that I could use each day to reintroduce myself to my home, my room, and most importantly, my bed.
Working as a student is a lot. It’s a burden to many, a choice for others, and a joy for those left. For me, working as a student is a constant gray cloud in my life. It hovers over me often and never seems to leave. I love being a student, but I want that to be my only job. If I could throw away my financial issues and solely focus on my schoolwork, I would probably be more efficient in some of the areas in my life I’m struggling with. I would better manage my time, have better mental health, have more personal time to write and explore the city. I could do a lot. Reality, though, makes these wishes harder to obtain.
Let me emphasize just how grateful I am to actually have a job. I couldn’t be more happy to have a job to come home to no matter how much I might dread going in. But with this gratitude comes exhaustion. To all student workers, you are a fighter. You are strong. You are diligent. And it’s okay to be tired. Those feelings of dread and anxiety that build in your chest when your schedule is posted or your boss assigns you another task? Feel them. Acknowledge them, and keep in mind that you are doing your best and your effort is not going to waste. Find your moments to relax and rehabilitate. Give yourself “me-time” and value those moments you do have to be at home and cozy. Those moments are so much greater when you think of them in your most saddest days. Kudos to you all, kudos to myself, and kudos to those days when you got up and got to work.