Life passes by in a blink of an eye. It can move so fast that before you realize it you become burnt out. This can happen to any college student if you put too much on your plate. As the summer winds down, I am realizing that I am a perfect example of one of those college students.  At the beginning of the year I decided I was going to get a full time summer job, and on top of it, I figured I could easily handle taking one summer school night class.  While I did manage working from 8 to 4:30, Monday through Friday, and having a two hour class three days a week, I would never advise someone else to take on school and a class like I did this summer.  School and a full time job can be lot to handle, especially when it’s a summer class and the material is moving very fast.

If a college student is making plans for next summer, I would suggest one or the other, but not both, especially if it’s a full time job. Having both classes and a job puts a lot of pressure on you and you forget to give yourself time to breath because you are constantly on the go.  While I don’t advise doing both at once, I do believe that once you are in college, your summer breaks should be geared toward either work or school.  Obviously it is a personal decision as to which option is best for you.

This summer I worked in an office where I dealt a lot with the public and it was a great experience for me. I matured so much this summer from having a full time job.  I learned the ins and outs of how to work in an office.  I overcame my fear of answering office phones and overall, I gained a ton of work experience and along the way I made some new friends. Working a full time job was a great idea because it gave me a taste of what the real world is like and the daily schedules you need to maintain for yourself.  My coworkers were like a second family because I was with them so much and I learned to work alongside with others. Having a full time job as opposed to a part time job makes a big difference. A full time job is the way to go at this stage in life because you will learn a lot of different things that will come in handy in the future for your other jobs.

However, since full time jobs can be time consuming, some people with limited time should choose summer school. Taking classes at a community college can help further your education goals. Summer classes will help you finish your general education courses so when you get back to your university, you can focus more on your major.  Summer school classes help you stick to what you know best, and that is being a student.  These classes will help you move closer to graduation, while a full time job will helps build your resume and gain work experience.

It’s all a matter of choice, but they are both important and need to be given your full attention. With less on your plate for the summer, the more time you have to focus on the responsibility you take on. Once your plate becomes too full, you will become burnt out and there will never be anytime for yourself.

Jenna Cusumano is an NSCS member from Springfield, Illinois studying at Illinois State University. She is a sophomore majoring in Journalism with a minor in Cinema Studies. Follow Jenna on Twitter @Jcus2010.