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The life of the humble retail worker is not an easy one. Minimum wage, spoiled customers, unappreciative bosses, infuriating coworkers, long hours, rinse and repeat. Yet, so many Montgomery College students wake up to attend class and rush to clock in to their jobs every day, or vice versa. Some students have more than one job while attending class, or a family to care for. The MC student body is made up of so many unconventional students – students who have families, or jobs, or other responsibilities, while also attending school. (Fun fact: There are actually 50% more part-time students than full-time students at Montgomery College; it’s part of what makes MC so diverse).
The work-school struggle is one so many students know so well. I personally work at a grocery store full-time while attending 2 classes. I don’t really have a full day off.
Here’s a little taste of my daily schedule:
10 AM: Wake up (I need to stop hitting snooze, ugh), make myself presentable
11:15 AM: Leave house early (Allot extra time to navigate the parking lot on campus… *shudders*)
12-12:50 PM: ENGL 102 with Professor Eggenschwiler, who is a spectacular professor, by the way. I highly recommend her. She has a TON of positive energy and always gives thorough feedback on essays.
12:50 PM-3ish: Free time! Squeeze in an hour of study, maybe grab a bite to eat and some (much-needed) coffee. Prepare for shift.

3-6:30 PM: Clock in! Cash register! Free samples! Stocking shelves! “No, ma’am, we don’t sell gluten-free whole wheat flour, that’s an oxymoron.” “No ma’am, these mini chicken tacos are not vegetarian” “Ma’am, please stop smashing the glass bottles, I sort of have to clean that.”
6:30-7 PM: Lunch break! Check phone. Eat lunch. Call mom. Stretch a little. Rest your weary soul.
7-11 PM: More labor! Cash register! Snotty customers! Get out of my store we closed 30 minutes ago! Cleaning duties! Stocking merchandise, x9000! [Insert strenuous and underappreciated work duty here] 11 PM: Clock out! Finally! FREEDOM!!!
11:30 PM: Arrive at home (Important note: Sleep will not occur before midnight. You can’t power down like a robot). Maybe drudge through fatigue to work on an assignment.
Approx 2 AM: Sleep, you’ve earned it.

Barely keeping up with two classes while struggling to pay bills with no real days off is a struggle I know very well. The discrepancy between minimum wage and the living wage in Montgomery County is sort of salt in the wound, but that’s a separate conversation you can hear me yell about in the break room. However, the knowledge that so many of my peers are going through the same day-to-day struggle makes it a bit easier, and I’ve never met a professor at MC who hasn’t been flexible about the subject. Not all of us can attend a 4-year school full-time right out of high school, after all.
A final bit of advice from a very sleepy young woman: Don’t rush. There’s no one sole timeline or lifestyle for everyone. Keep your pace and you do you <3

Taylor Oland

My name is Taylor and I'm 21 years old. I work full-time and attend MC part-time. I'm working on my Associates in General Studies, but my end goal is to be involved in the mental health field.

I'm an Aquarius, my favorite animals are frogs, and I believe in aliens. I like making jewelry and doing crafty, hands-on projects, and I adore crystals and things to do with magic and nature. 

I'm an intersectional feminist who is passionate about human rights - I am constantly trying to educate and challenge myself to be a better ally and activist.

I greatly enjoy horror movies and novels, and anything creepy, morbid, and macabre.

I love music: specifically rock, alternative, punk, and jazz. I can also play trumpet, guitar, and a bit of piano. It is a habit of mine to take nighttime scenic drives just to listen to music.
I also love breakfast food for any (and every) meal and I live off of excessive coffee. When I'm not at school, work, or asleep, I try to spend as much time as possible outside; I especially love exploring forests. 

If you see me around the Rockville campus, feel free to say hi! I'm pretty shy at first but I'm a very friendly and kind person, I promise.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Taylor, thanks for pointing out the challenges many of our MC students have and the sacrifices they make to be in school. Keep going girl; I know you and I know you will do it!

  2. Woah Taylor! I am super impressed that you manage to keep it all together with a schedule like yours! Late night and early mornings eh? Thanks for giving me a glimpse of your world.

  3. Ugh I know your pain! I would have never thought that working and going to school would be difficult to juggle in an everyday life style. Keep it up! You got this!

  4. It’s always comforting to know that you are not the only one feeling like you are juggling your life in one hand. Thanks Taylor.

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