Night owl burns the candle at both ends
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 02:06
Balancing work and school is something that most community college students have to master. Students who often have families to care for as well are especially stressed for time.
Citrus College night student Rebecca Gomez has found a way to manage it all.
Gomez, a 22-year old business major, is currently enrolled in 15 units of night classes at Citrus College.
Her night school is four days a week, starting at 4 p.m and ending at 10 p.m
“I just really want everyone to know that even if you work full-time, it is still possible to get an education,” Gomez said. “ It is hard work, but it is not impossible. Don’t give up on your dreams.”
Gomez also has a full-time job at restaurant. She works Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m- p.m.
“Basically, with work and school, my days are almost 15 hours,” Gomez said. “Sometimes I don’t know how I get through my days.”
Gomez said that it is extremely difficult to be on her feet for most the day, but it feels good when she gets to sit down in her classrooms.
“I am happy to not be standing anymore,” Gomez said. “But now I have to try and not fall asleep in class.”
As soon as she graduated from Glendora High School, she found a way to pay for school through working and financial aid.
Gomez’s family made it clear that they would not be able to support her through college, so she works full-time to support herself.
She lives with her mother, Melissa Garcia, and the two split most of the household expenses.
“I wish that I could give Rebecca better financial options,” Garcia said. “She won’t be working all day and going to night school forever. Soon she will be a college graduate.”
Gomez is the first to attend college in her family. Her mother started college, but dropped out after having her first child.
Gomez has three younger siblings and helps support them as well.
On weekends Gomez spends most of her time helping her mother around the house with and sleeping in.
“I love my Sundays,” Gomez said. “All of my friends know to not call me before noon. It is my favorite day of the week.”
Gomez’s best friend, Citrus College student Elena Gonzalez has a true respect for her friend.
“People do not understand how difficult it is to go to work all day, and then attend night school,” Gonzalez said. “She is the hardest [working] student and employee I know. One day it will all pay off for her.
After Gomez completes one more full-time semester at Citrus she plans to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
“I am looking forward to having a normal college life once I transfer,” Gomez said. “I will still have to work but not crazy long days.”