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Balancing a Job and Schoolwork Somewhat Well

Posted by on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 in Academics, General Information, Jobs, Student Life.

Life here at Vandy can be pretty overwhelming.  It can also be super overwhelming if, like me, you have a disorganized work ethic, a dedication to napping daily, and an obsession with social media that inhibits you from ever being 100%, wholeheartedly productive in the realm of academics. If such is the case for you, don’t fret: somehow, things always work out, even when logistically they probably shouldn’t. Believe me.

I work two 6-hour shifts per week at the Ben & Jerry’s on 21st, and during lulls my mind always wanders to what essay I should be working on instead of scooping ice cream.  I actually tend to outline most of my assignments mentally while at work — I find that brainstorming somewhere other than my dorm room helps me develop innovative ideas, and just thinking things through for a while without the pressure of getting straight to writing can allow ideas to evolve past their surface-level appeal. (If I had pondered this post while at B&J’s instead of in my room, it would probably have a lot more coherence and depth. Sorry, readers.)

The quality of the ice cream totally makes up for the fact that it’s detracting me from doing homework in a timely manner.
(photo creds to

The thing about homework is that if you’re dedicated to getting it done, it’ll get done somehow.  Probably.  When you put into perspective all the time you spend procrastinating on Netflix, hanging out in the common room, browsing Twitter, or doing whatever it is you do, it probably amounts to 1 shift at Ben & Jerry’s.  So I like to think that, in a sense, I’m wasting time semi-productively. I’m being paid to procrastinate.

If you’re an incoming student who is going to need to work while managing a 15hr+ course load, I would definitely recommend Ben & Jerry’s: shifts are flexible, there is usually someone willing to cover for you last minute, they pay $2 above Tennessee’s minimum wage, and you get to eat as many samples as you want.  Generally, I would say that, with the exception of ridiculously busy weeks, balancing school and work in a healthy and practical fashion is very attainable.  Establishing a timeline for when you want to complete certain assignments is likely helpful and constructive (not that I’ve ever done it), but honestly, things usually just end up getting done someway, somehow. Sure, it’s usually at 1 or 2AM, but it works out and that’s what matters.

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