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A student must choose between studying or working

a feature story in College life at the height of the pandemic.

By Camille DellosaPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
A student must choose between studying or working
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam ✪ on Unsplash

After the announcement of the nationwide lockdown last March 15, 2020, schools in the Philippines have been shut down since the surge of the health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, it could be a temporary solution, it leaves other students in the dark.

Although the pandemic served as a ‘blessing in disguise’ to Asher Gica a former working student, 23, who experienced juggling academic stress in her second year in Advertising and Public Relations and working as an Account Service Representative before and currently a Marketing Officer and Project Head for an events company.

Asher admits in the year 2022, that she is not yet ready for face-to-face classes or any formal classes, because she needs to continue her regular job in the daytime so that she can supply her daily needs. While her schedule in class is also in the morning period.

“Mataas na grado pero walang makakakain o may makakakain pero walang pinagtapos o late makakapagtapos, nanghihiyang din kasi ako sa oras na masasayang ko kaya hanggat kaya ng oras ko go lang,” Asher explained.

Fortunately, online classes helped her to manage her time in her current set-up at work. For instance, once a week she needs to work from the office then the rest of the week is work from home system. But the downside is she is no longer active in classes and most of the time she can’t attend synchronous classes.

“Kaya pinagdadasal ko na lang na once mag face-to-face na, hindi magkabanggaan ang schedule ko sa pagtatrabaho at pag-aaral kasi kung ganun sasadyain ‘kong mamili sa dalawa,” a single tear fell as she shared.

Furthermore, Asher’s college life faced a lot of challenges that she did not anticipate and it is beyond her expectations from her dream ‘buhay kolehiyala’. This includes drowsiness, lack of support financially, and burnout from the routine trip from her house to her company office.

In addition, Amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, students like her are also scrambling to find ways to reach professors and learning materials like modules and continue with the required outputs. Unlike other universities, her school does not have a ‘Portal’ for easy access which would probably lessen the weight of using multiple platforms in one subject.

Despite the exhaustion, her inspiration makes her stay and to make herself comfortable to the lifestyle she wants — she trains herself to be ready to toil towards the goal.

“Sa ngayon, kaya ko pa balansehin pagtatrabaho at pag-aaral dahil sa mga considerate na mga profs at sa gaan ng mga pinapagawa. Pero minsan may mga pagkakataon talaga na himihingi na ako ng tulong sa mga kaibigan ko. Lalo na tinggal na ‘yung academic ease as if namang luluwag ‘yung sched sa trabaho ng mga may work na kagaya ko,” she added.

All in all, this pandemic affects everyone. Insisting that it be the students who find solutions for them to have grades, puts the burden of the outbreak on their shoulders and that’s unfair.

This just proves that Asher Gica one of the students will be forced to choose a path to take if the schedule or the weight of the work does not coincide with their job and face-to-face classes.

Bring up to date, Asher Gica dropped her college degree in the year 2022 to pursue and focus on her dream job. Which has a healthier environment and helps her build her career in the industry she is in. She is currently working on herself more, relinquishing some pressure and expectations, and finally doing better than before in all aspects of her life.


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Camille Dellosa

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