Students talk about the work, school balance

By Alexis Parra
Flapjack staff

Jacob Ruiz, 19, is a full-time first-year student at Humboldt State University and a full-time employee at Szechuan Garden. Ruiz moved up to Humboldt County from Salinas, California as a business major, but is interested in being an undeclared major so that he can explore other options than business.

“I want to be an undeclared major so that I can take different classes and figure out what I want to do with my life,” he says. “As of right now, I think I want to go into film because I’m really interested in all aspects of film.”

Ruiz may be a full-time student here at Humboldt State University not, but will not be here for long. He does not plan to return here for his sophomore year of college, because he does not enjoy most of the people and the environment here. He will instead be attending a junior college in Sacramento, California.

Although, Ruiz does not like Humboldt State University he has made some fond memories and does enjoy the scenery that Humboldt County has to offer.

“I made a lot of great memories out and have done a lot of things, but my favorite overall aspect of Humboldt is the nature,” he says. “I’ve learned to appreciate nature a whole lot more, but not the weather. Separate the weather from the nature and it’s perfect.”

Szechuan Garden isn’t Ruiz’s first job, when he was a sophomore in high school back in Salinas, California he worked at Carl’s Jr. Ruiz worked at Carl’s Jr for a total of seven months before he was removed from the job.

“My leadership class was having a retreat and I was scheduled to work the same day,” he says. “They weren’t going to let me take the day off because all of the other workers called off that day. I chose school before work which is always going to happen, but I was going to quit anyway because I hated it.”

Ruiz decided he didn’t want to work on the Humboldt State University campus because of the fact that he didn’t want to constantly see people that he goes to school with and possibly even lives with. Plus, his work is only across the bridge, near the plaza, and near other various restaurants. Since his work is so close he likes to consider it “off-campus but on-campus.” If Ruiz had to absolutely work on-campus he would work at the university bookstore.

“The bookstore is cool and I feel as if not a lot of people go there, they only go when they need supplies,” he says.

When Ruiz isn’t in class or working he can be found doing homework, eating, watching the movie Baby Boy, or if he is feeling inspired he will make a video. He only recently started making videos and shares how they tend to just be clips of the nature or his life.

“Balancing school and work gets tiring,” he says. “The school work I can do and I don’t really worry about it if it’s wrong because I’m trying my hardest…and work is easy work it just relies on me always being on my feet.”

Ruiz believes that trying your best is all that you can really do when it comes to school work. No one is perfect in absolutely everything, and trying your hardest is all that one can do when it comes to school or anything in general.

A close classmate of Ruiz’s, Perla Sepulveda, is also a full-time first-year student at Humboldt State University and a full-time employee at Trumpet Behavioral Health. Besides having the same political science class Sepulveda and Ruiz have a bit more in common, seeing that both of their jobs here in Humboldt County are each of their second jobs and their first jobs were located in their hometowns.

Sepulveda, 18, from Pittsburg, California and is a social work major. Besides having a lot of things in common with Ruiz she also agrees with him when he shares the fact that work is tiring and even adds her own input.

“Work does get tiring and it is always really hard trying to find time for work, school, and for myself,” she says.

Leslie Amigon, a non-student that calls Minnesota home, works two full-time jobs. One as a sales associate at Bath and Body Works and the other as a hostess at one of her local cafes. Amigon does not attend college right now because when she did attend a university in Minnesota, she did not have an enjoyable experience and decided to leave after the first three weeks of the semester, but is planning to attend a university again in the upcoming year.

“I decided to get my first job at Bath and Body works because I had to pay off my three weeks at the university I was at and I was going to be bored being at home, so I just thought that I would go out and make money,” she says.

Amigon also decided that she was going to start paying for own bills and decided to get another job this time as a hostess.

“I have two jobs and at times that can be difficult to balance because I also have to find time for myself,” she says. “I can’t imagine what it is going to be like when I start going to school again because that’s going to be another thing to add to the pile. I guess I’ll just see what happens when that time comes.”

Even though Amigon is not a student she understands the difficulty that Sepulveda and Ruiz face and that she will, later on, have to face when she returns to school in the upcoming year.

Ruiz is glad to know that there are other people, especially classmates like Sepulveda, that he can relate to.

“Honestly if you are stressing about school, you shouldn’t have to,” he says. “If you’re like me and you’re trying your hardest that is all you can do.”


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