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Overworked

Overworked

Student Experiences with Job Burnout  

By Ben Wexler  

Walla Walla University student employees play an integral role in our campus experience and student life. Some manage long working hours while succeeding in the classroom and on the athletic field. The Collegian met with student employees to hear about their experiences with job burnout.  

Balancing work with academics and athletics has resulted in burnout for students William Su, Gleb Drumi, and Kudzai Mhondiwa. “Working on your feet an entire shift makes it difficult to transition to homework,” explained Su, who clocks in 15-hour weeks at The Express while working on his nursing major and running for the cross-country team. [1] Su expressed that he usually helps cover for employees who are unable to work, causing an unexpected burnout.  

Having the mental strength to complete homework after a job is a recurring issue for long working student employees. Drumi, business accounting major and soccer player who clocks in 16-hour weeks and works early morning hours as a front desk resident assistant, agrees. “It’s tough working a late shift while trying to complete homework, but the key is not over-scheduling,” described Drumi. [2] 

Knowing how to deal with burnout is a crucial skill found in students who work long hours. “Time management is important for maintaining a high quality of life if you’re taking on major responsibilities,” said Mhondiwa, business marketing major who balances a staggering five jobs while playing on the University soccer team. [3] 

While scheduling mistakes are inevitable, Mhondiwa does not let it affect him. “Time management does slip up. You know you can’t necessarily time everything,” Mhondiwa said. [4] 

Mhondiwa explained, “It’s not necessarily a burden, I’m a student worker but I love what I’m doing while getting paid for it and making an impact on those around me,” showing his perspective that his role is not just work but an opportunity to connect with the community. [5] 

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George Bowers working in the Science Building chemistry lab.

OPS president and business finance major Hayden Roe works a hefty 23-hour week and stated that he does not experience burnout due to the diversity of tasks in his role. [6] 

As president, Roe plans and hosts OPS events, spends time with the residents, creates flyers such as the urinal journal, and coordinates the weekly OPS worship. “There’s enough variety in the job where it doesn’t cause any burnout at the magnitude of hours that I’m working now. Maybe if I was doing it for like 40 or more, I’d feel burnout, but right now I don’t,” said Roe. [7] 

Whether responsible for a major role or part-time job, student workers play a significant part in the cultivation of our community. Preventing burnout is vital to keeping it alive and thriving. 

References 

  1. Meeting with William Su, 1/29/22. 
  1. Meeting with Gleb Drumi, 1/28/22. 
  1. Meeting with Kudzai Mhondiwa, 1/26/22. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Meeting with Hayden Roe, 1/30/22. 
  1. Ibid.
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