She walks around campus in her pencil skirt, white top, designer frames and heels on. Every strut in her step would seem to be classier and more powerful than the last. Her aura would speak before her mouth would, suggesting that she was no ordinary student.
It is no mistake or special occasion, simply a day in the life of a full-time student, who also juggles a full-time job.
“I work to pay bills. I have my own apartment and car,” said Marlana Brittain.
Brittain is a sophomore radiology major from Sabine, Texas, taking 18 hours of college courses.
A poll conducted by bankrate.com shows one out of every ten college students attend class full-time and work full-time.
“I don’t think that I am special. I am doing what I have to do to graduate,” said Brittain.
Brittain’s day consists of waking up around 6 a.m., turning on “Good Morning America,” while she eats her breakfast before rushing to school for her 8 a.m. class. After finishing all classes around 2:15 p.m. she rushes home to get ready for work at Brookshire’s Grocery Company as the office cashier. Brittain gets off work at 10 p.m. and does homework until 1 or 2 a.m.
She gets up the next morning to do it all over again.
“It is stressful at times, but I recommend that all students try to be more independent. You will learn how to balance a hectic schedule. It would make you a better employee,” said Brittain.
Brittain was named to the fall 2007 Dean’s List and is a former member of Harmony and Understanding. Brittain is also participating in the 2008 Miss Texas USA Pageant representing Gregg County.
“I have a limited social life now, and all I really do is go to school, go to work and study,” said Brittain.
Brittain comes from a family of hard workers and was brought up to know what work is.
“I have always stood behind Marlana, she is a pretty level-headed young lady and a well driven person,” said Mildred, mother of Brittain.
Brittain takes time out of her busy schedule to attend church at True Saints Church of the Living God, PGT.
“I believe that religion is very important and I request off every Sunday to attend church,” said Brittain.
Brittain plans to graduate in May and continue her studies at Northwestern State University.
“You have to be ambitious and remember that you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you,” said Brittain.
Not all students believe that it is hard juggling school and a job.
“Juggling school and work is not that difficult because I am self-employed,” said John Cushing, sophomore theatre major.
Cushing works in the biology lab and owns his own lawn service.
“My lawn service normally does not pick up until the summer so it normally does not intervene with my studies,” said Cushing.
Cushing also believes that having a job and going to school isn’t for everyone.
“Students should just do school. You can worry about having a job after you graduate,” said Cushing.
Cushing was home-schooled and is familiar with the workload.
“I am a self-motivated person and I want to succeed. I want to do something to better my life,” said Cushing.
Sometimes having a job when you are working for someone else can be difficult but when you are working for your family it can be a pain.
“It’s a pain because I just can’t request off of work anytime I want to,” said Anna Bazan whose family owns Chez Bazan French Bakery here in Tyler. “I work six days a week as the ‘Front of the House’ manager.”
Anna Bazan is a Sophomore Pre-Dental major and hopes to attend Texas A&M University in the fall.
“I normally try to study after dinner, but it doesn’t always happen,” said Bazan.
Bazan spends most of her time at the bakery with her brother and sister.
“Working with my brother and sister can be a ball at times, while other times it can be really crazy,” said Bazan.
When Bazan is not working or going to school, she is hanging out with her friends.
“We go to the movies, shop, and I get my mind off of school and work. That is how I keep my sanity,” said Bazan.
Bazan encourages other students that work full time to continue to persevere through the hard times and to think about graduation.
Full-time students, full-time jobs, full-time life – the many faces of TJC.