Balancing Work and School. Is it Easier or Harder With Virtual Learning?


Paris, Kentucky Mcdonalds

Layla Sies

Life is getting more and more stressful as the days go by. Stuck in the same cycle of school, work, eat, sleep, repeat. The year 2020, and the Coronavirus, has made it difficult to do anything “normal” it seems. Many things have had to become the new normal. First, it was having to do NTI work instead of physically going to school, then it was having to self-quarantine, next, we are required to wear masks in public at all times, and now we’re being made to go to school virtually.

Doing school online strikes questions in a lot of students: Will it be more stressful? Is there going to be more work? How is all of this supposed to work out? Am I going to be able to balance my life with school now that there is more responsibility for me to get my work done? Will I balance my work life with school?

I found myself asking these questions due to the building stress of work and school as time edged closer to the first day. I knew I couldn’t be alone in worrying about these things, so I interviewed a few people to get their opinion on working part-time while being a student completely online.

First, I interviewed Mason Shepherd. He works five days a week at McDonald’s and is a senior. I asked him, “How do you feel about working and doing school virtually?” He replied, “I don’t like it, I feel as if the school likes to overstate the importance (of school) overwork. This is an issue because I have to pay rent. I need to focus on work in order to live.” My next question was, “Is it more stressful for you to balance school and work now, than when we physically went to school?” He answered “Yes, exponentially, we had structure before and I could get work done in school. However, now we get much more work to be done after school, which is a complication.”

Next, I interviewed Casey Stone. He also works at McDonald’s three days a week and is a senior. My first question for him was, “How does working while doing school virtually make you feel?” He said, “It makes me feel a little bit better because I don’t have to get up and go to school every single day.” I asked, “Do you feel as if this is more stressful than when we physically went to school?” He replied, “I definitely don’t feel more stressed.”

I also got the opinion of someone who doesn’t work a part-time job. I asked her how she feels about virtual learning. She said she enjoys virtual learning but says it is difficult. The NTI work that we did last year really helped prepare her for this school year and doing schoolwork at home. I asked if it was easier or harder than when we physically went to school, she replied saying it’s easier to manage her time with the online school, but some aspects are more difficult for her. I then asked, “Do you have a job, and is it easier or harder now?” She said, “I do not, but I do things around my house usually… I feel like it’s kind of easier but also gets kind of boring because I am staying in the same place usually, and just looking at the same things every day.”

It seems as if some students find it very difficult to balance virtual school with work, while others enjoy virtual school and don’t mind doing it at home.