Student workers perform balancing act between work and school

Students who work and go to school do not just have the pressure of focusing on academics, they also have to balance their work life on top of that. 

Ryaan Ligon and Alex Messerly, both students who work on campus at the SIU Foundation, are currently facing that challenge. 

“Campus jobs will work around your class hours, but if you get a job that’s outside, like at Taco Bell or something, they won’t as much,” Messerly said.


She said her experience with working and going to school is not as difficult as other people who might have a different experience with it and might have to schedule out their day more.

Ligon said paying attention to the clock and calendar are vital.

“I think the most important part is setting a schedule for yourself… making sure I have time to get my sleep covered and then communication with the professors I work with,” she said.

 Ligon and Messerly both agree 20 hours a week of  pay is not enough to live on.

“We’re limited to only 20 hours which is not really enough if you’re living in an apartment and have to pay rent,” Messerly said.

While she has only one campus job, Ligon has another job in addition to working at the Foundation. But even the extra hours are only so much help.

“They are only enough to live on because I stay in the dorms,” she said.” “With the jobs I have now, maybe I can get a cheap apartment and pay my bills but it would be really tight.” 


Both students said  Handshake helped them find their jobs at the SIU Foundation. 

David Brooks, a customer service representative at the student employment office, said, the first step is to go to the student employment website and click on job search. 

“Every student already has a Handshake account set up with their Salukinet login. It will have you complete a few profile setup questions and then after that go to the jobs tab and filter the results to on campus and it will pull up a list for all the available jobs on campus,” Brooks said.

Handshake is the official job search site for SIUC.

“I did Handshake and I went through that and then Pat just kinda gave me a call. It took me about two to three weeks to find one. Honestly it was easier finding an on-campus job,” Messerly said.

Ligon said “The first one I went to Handshake and they had an offer on Handshake so I applied through there.”

According to Brooks, international students have to be enrolled in more credit hours than regular students.

Requirements may range from being enrolled in a certain number of credit hours or what year you are in school.

Having an on-campus job can provide extra money, qualify students for work study, and may work around your class schedule. But, as Messerly and Ligon note,  it also can be a challenge to keep up with.

Staff Reporter Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] and on Instagram  @janiyah_reports. To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.