What Jacksonville students sacrifice to go to college

Thirty-nine percent of people age eighteen to twenty-four have a side job. Over the last thirty years, tuition rates have nearly tripled while minimum wage has stayed relatively the same.

Students have spoken out about how they feel about having to balance out school and work life with the minimum wage pay they receive.

Samantha Shaw, a college senior at the University of North Florida, works four jobs and her typical day starts at 9am and ends at 2am. Even though she works four jobs it’s still a struggle to pay for school and personal life finances.

“The idea that those can rise but, our living wage shouldn’t rise with it is nonsense to me,” Shaw said.

Shaw barely has time to sleep because of her class and job schedule but, she sometimes worry about what the lack of sleep will have on her body.

“Sleep has been linked to some things or a lack of sleep and stress on cardiac problems but along with high amounts of caffeine but that’s just something you know as a scientist I don’t think about,” she said.

Shaw, gives herself self-validation that she can work all those jobs and that with all that going on it will really pay off in the end.

“It’s much easier to just be like it’s just going to be for this semester or the next semester. Or going into a freshman year maybe just four years and then there’s a silver lining at the end of the tunnel, it doesn’t make the dark tunnel that you’re in any brighter but, you know the idea of hope still sustains me,” she said.

Shaw is one of the many students who deals with the battle of working multiple jobs to help pay for school. Other students in Jacksonville have spoken out about the struggles they have had to deal with while in school.

Sarah Lauderdale, a college freshman at Florida State College at Jacksonville,  she mentions that with college tuition rising and the minimum wage staying the same it’s as if they don’t want you to finish college. “It makes it feel like they’re like preventing you from getting an education almost. You have to have money to be able to have an education and that’s the way that it makes you feel,” she said.

Another student Sabrea Williams, a sophomore at Florida State College at Jacksonville, talks about how she had to work two jobs at one point while in school. She had a part-time and full-time just to make ends meet and pay for her school supplies then pay for bills at home.

“I was working a full-time job and a part-time job in order to pay for my classes and for my household and it still wasn’t enough. Um, I found that I was trying to figure out which one would get payed. What classes get paid for or would I put it into the household and for me that was very stressing,” she said.

Students have use methods such as penny pitching when it comes to groceries and other things to help save money to pay for school needs and personal finances. Budgeting is one of the many things students have to do to keep a financial balance.