Budgeting your time

By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  January 8, 2009

"If you have a job where your boss is willing to let you bail when school gets busy, it's probably a good job," Wayne Snyder, the Associate Dean of Students at Boston University, says. "But school obviously comes first if you're in school. What's the point of making $12 an hour at some part-time job and spending all this money on this elite education and not making the most of it?"

Snyder, who looks after students in BU's College of Arts and Sciences, says that having a job can be part of a full life in the city, provided students don't get carried away with making money.

"The research on extracurricular activities in general shows that students who have one thing that they do outside of school usually benefit," he says. "Students who have a moderate involvement in outside commitments, including jobs, tend to be the better students.

"The problem is that they're serving two masters, and that gets tough. Or five masters for that matter, if you count all their professors," he adds.

Students today are busy, productive, and, more often than not, stressed. But the question of whether a job will be the straw that breaks the camel's back depends on the type of student. Most seem to understand — as they serve up grande soy chai lattes happily anticipating that Friday paycheck — that they are students first.

"This is the one time in my life that I get to be a student and not have to worry about paying for a house and buying enough groceries," says Forrest, putting aside her laptop with a half-finished paper glowing on the screen. "Yeah, it'd be nice to have some extra cash every now and then, but there are ways to get by. Boston is called a college town for a reason."

Cassandra Landry will work for food. At least our accounting department is counting on that. She can be reached at cassiel@sonic.net.

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