By Paola Rodriguez

All work, no play makes Jack a dull boy. As much as this may seem to be true, working is quite important at the end of the day. It is a means to receiving income in order to live even if it creates a struggle to keep a balance of a social life, good grades, internships and living as comfortably as possible. For many students across the country, this is a reality. Devon Bennett, a junior at the University of Missouri- Columbia, admitted his own struggles as a working student.

“It has definitely been hard,” Bennett said. “But I feel more pressure to be at work than in class. There have been many times this semester where I’ve been so exhausted from work that I’ve chosen to sleep through class.”  Bennett isn’t alone – 7 in 10 college students work while attending school, according to a Georgetown University survey.

From the west to east coasts, you will find college students doing as much as possible to lower tuition all while ensuring that there is wiggle room for them to also have some cash. Something I have done to help alleviate some of this stress was to take on a second job.

During the summer after graduating high school, I worked an average of 50 to 55 hours a week from my jobs. My goal was to earn enough for the fall semester in order to ensure that I could cover any unexpected costs, personal expenses and to make sure I did not have to work while studying. Even though I was able to surpass this goal, I saw how it made my personal relationships stale as I was giving my undivided attention to both my jobs and sleeping whenever possible. I cancelled plans with friends or family if it meant the opportunity to pick up any shift. I was desperate to make ends meet, especially since paying for college and everything else was on my shoulders.

At the time, this pressure meant that the only priority in my life was to meet that goal. When summer ended, I realized how I was stepping into the next chapter of my life without having really said my goodbyes to the people I grew up with.

College is now here. I no longer have to work immense hours every week, but for some reason, even with the comfort of not having to work as much during school, I always felt a weight on my chest. One that — to this day- I struggle with.

Regret. This weight I feel is just that. I realize now that I cannot turn back the clock to get that proper closing that not only I deserved but everyone else in my life as well. Even though working two jobs helped me financially, it did not help my personal life. The balance of work and your relationships is so important. Even though all work, no play does not necessarily mean that you’re boring, it sure does mean that there needs to be a better balance in your life for those you care about and work.

Rodriguez is a freshman studying journalism at the University of Missouri.