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Updated: Aug 29, 2022

One would think that the sole responsibility and priority that a student is thinking about is his or her studies. However, that is not always the case. More and more students become “working students” – balancing all the responsibilities that come with work and school. Some are forced to work while studying to sustain their education expenses, while others look for jobs to keep themselves busy; running from school to work and juggling academic requirements and side-hustles while keeping one’s family, social or personal life in check is a truly daunting task.

Whatever reasons each working student has, they are surely commendable for the time, effort, and dedication they give to both their jobs and their schools. Hence, “work-study-balance” has become an ongoing struggle for working students, especially in the Philippines. As per Shaneley Añonuevo: I really admire the sacrifice & perseverance of every working student because what [we’re] doing is very tough and challenging. It takes up a lot of time & brain space. You may get exhausted going to bed just to earn rest and energy and next to that, there’s this urge and needs to be up early to start moving. And there are times that you have to delay the other one just to prioritize the other. It may affect my University life or career life sometimes but because of the support system that I have from work & school, I am able to conquer it.

These three working students who are full-time fundraisers and full-time students at the same time are highly admirable because not only are they successful, but they are also achievers both at work and in school: Shaneley Añonuevo, Louise Ashton Cajipe, and Ianthe Marie Kabiling are all consistent Dean’s Listers in their universities while working as Campaign Officers and a Team Captain, respectively. For working students, there are lots of sacrifices to make. They are also prone to burnout early in life.

Louise: The challenges of being a working student are losing sleep just to get through the day; no time for socials; there are also times that you couldn't rest even if you want to because you have to work on your school papers or else you will fail your class. In my personal opinion, being a student does not affect me as a fundraiser and vice versa, but somehow, there are times that you will feel overwhelmed by everything that is happening to you.

Ianthe: The only challenge that I have as a working student is time management. I have to attend my classes and at the same time, I need to be at work. There are times when I have to finish a certain project after work instead of resting. I am also currently building my own team so it's extra challenging. Thankfully, with the right mindset and attitude, it didn't affect my performance at school and at work.

Yet these three superheroes make the conscious choice to carry on and do whatever they need to thrive. Giving up is not an option, either in their studies or their careers! This is why they recognize how lucky they are for the support and consideration that their families, teachers, and bosses give to them. The support system that they had built pushed them forward to excel more and do more.

Of course, all these bright young minds have something to say to you too, especially for those of you who are thinking about committing yourself to be a working student!

Shaneley: There’s nothing wrong in trying something big, something that you can’t imagine before that you’re unable to do it. It may seem impossible until it's done.

Louise: Rest if you are burned out; rest if you cannot produce something good; rest if you need rest. If you will not rest for at least 1 to 2 hours a day, I'll tell you, I wouldn't last being a working student.

Ianthe: No matter how challenging a certain situation is, as long as you put your heart and soul into it, everything is possible.

Their journeys have not been easy. They had to develop their grit, passion, and determination to create a life for themselves that they love – one where they are both a student and a fundraiser. They endure everything because of their Deepest Why: financial independence, giving back to their parents, their dreams, career leaps, or serving as an inspiration to others, are what pushed them forward and made them realize that your commitment can be your greatest act for your success story waiting to be told.

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