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The life of a student worker

I find it almost ironic that I write about students working while technically at work right now, on a bus picking up students from New York City at 4 a.m. for the pre-college summer scholarship program. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this column sooner. Cornell has hundreds of job opportunities for students. The question is, which students get the benefits? In today’s world, working students deserve more credit than they get. Recognizing the privilege gap between working and non-working Cornell students is essential, because the stereotypical, perfect American college experience is itself a social construct.

Working Cornell students face the same things as nonworking Cornell students. For example, each of us has a social battery. However, some wear out faster than others, and for working students, their batteries are often drained by their daily schedule alone. Here is an example of my schedule for the past school year:

  • Wake up around 8 or 9am.
  • Get food.
  • Go to classes.
  • Go to lunch.
  • Have time to study.
  • Working at my desk job at the center of the Latin American Studies program.

By the time I’m done with all that, it’s already almost dinner time. My social battery is depleted and I need what’s left to do my homework. On weekends, I would get up, read, and be at the Mann Cafe for my managerial job at 11 a.m., working most of the day, then returning to the dorm at 5 or 6 p.m.

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