Nil sine magno labore: ” Nothing without great effort” Posted on July 27, 2009 by B. Crane

More and more working college students are becoming a norm especially in commuter colleges such as our very own Brooklyn College.   With the turn of events in our economy, I could only imagine the increasing number of students working to pay for school,bills,rent and loans.

Some students have no choice but to work while going to school.  I come from a strict and traditional family where my parents have always felt that studying was a student’s ultimate job.  From my mother’s salary and meager tips for working ten hours as a manicurist at a nail salon along  financial aid and student loans were able to put my brother through 4 years of college at a prestigious Ivy League school.

However when it came to my turn to go to college, my family was struggling to pay for rent and for paying off the treacherous student loans and credit card debts that had  accumulated.  My first job was as a cashier at CVS during my senior year at high school.  It was exhausting work at minimum wage but it afforded me material joys of life.

My mother’s work had been taking a toll on her body.  I began working again on my freshman year of college.  What I earned helped ease my mothers mind from having to pay a Metrocard for me, paying the cell phone bills and giving me spending money. My mother was sick and I was getting sick. Wrking, taking 15 credits and travelling 2 hours to get to school was draining.  I moved out.

I took on several more jobs but I had also taken on more responsibilities. Now I had to pay rent, utilities, credit card bills, study for my classes and student teach which I still do today.  Then there’s also the unexpected situations that occur that completely throw off and wish you weren’t dealt these cards.  My Mom lost her job mostly because of her old age and because of her poor eyesight.  She also developed arthrities but she keeps on trucking and find new ways to work as a seamstress and as a home aide.  My apartment became infested with bedbugs and I had to move.

Although I hoped not to become like my mother, I can’t deny how proud I am  as to what a trooper Mom is and I am proud of my struggle of my independence.  I wanted to give our students an insight into the proud lives we live as working students.

Working while in school…. Be realistic!   If you plan on working while in school folow the guidelines below to ensure you do not overload yourself.


| If your are enrolled for |You  plan on working on no more than | _____________________________________________________

|17-18 credits                          | YOU should not be working!                                  |  ________________________________________________________

|14-16 credits                           | 10-15 hours per week                                             | ________________________________________________________

|12-13 credits                           | 15-20 hours per week                                             | _______________________________________________________

|7-11 credits                               | 20-30 hours per week                                             | ________________________________________________________

| 6 credits or less                      |  30-40 hours per week                                             |


Average course load: 15 credit hours is the average load carried by most students.

To graduate in four years, with no summer school attendance, a student must average 15 hours per week.

“full time” course load : 12 12 credit-hours is the minimum hours required to be a full time student..  Full-time status is often required for students to remain on their parents’ auto  and health insurance.

Course load limit: 18 credit-hours is the maximum hours a student is allowed to carry without a waiver.

(An On Campus Magazine of Brooklyn College article)


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