DA Voices: How do you balance work and school?

Emma Caires, Features Editor

“DA Voices” is a recurring feature used to spotlight De Anza College’s diverse community voices. We ask the same question to different people and arrange their quotes so that readers can see varying points of view. This week, our reporter Emma Caires asked, “How do you balance work and school?”

Quotes have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Because the community college model allows for a flexible class schedule to build around all kinds of lives — whether it be students who are parents, work full-time jobs, or have long commutes — De Anza College homes students with all kinds of availability. Four students who work part-time jobs share how they manage school and work.

Victoria Garcia, 19, biology major (Emma Caires)

Second-year Victoria Garcia, 19, biology major, works 15 to 20 hours a week as a Starbucks barista.

“It’s pretty stressful, but I mean at the same time, it’s just about time management,” Garcia said. “It takes a lot of motivation to balance everything. Committing to staying on track to earn the grades you want is pretty hard, so I think knowing your limits when it comes to working is important.”

Melian Bilello-Rodriguez, 20, film major (Emma Caires)

Melian Bilello-Rodriguez, film major, is a Target employee for 30 to 35 hours a week on top of the three classes they take at De Anza College.
“It’s a lot physically and mentally,” Bilello-Rodriguez said. “When I get home, I want to take a break but I still have to deal with school. You have to make sure you’re making time to just take care of yourself and give yourself a mental break — that’s what’s going to keep you sane.”

Ethan Ngo, 18, computer science major (Emma Caires)

Ethan Ngo, 18, computer science major, works at Jamba Juice 20 to 25 hours a week.

“Utilize your downtime,” Ngo said. “It’s good to have some (downtime), but you don’t want too much because it could be used to work towards whatever your end goal is.”

Ryan Anden, 18, computer science major (Emma Caires)

For 25 to 30 hours a week, Ryan Anden, 18, computer science major, works at Jamba Juice.

“If you’re struggling to balance everything, try choosing what you like more or think is more important, and then put your energy towards that and pursue that,” Anden said.