MU student struggles to balance school, work and live within budgets

COLUMBIA — During her classes McKenzie Lockett may look like an average MU senior studying psychology.

She listens to music with headphones as she walks down the street wearing sunglasses. Her life outside lecture halls and labs tells a far different tale. Lockett works at a clothing store in downtown Columbia, a research center on campus and at a local crisis center. Lockett works 25 to 35 hours each week.

Although the amount of hours she works may vary depending on the week, one thing remains certain. Lockett’s busy work schedule leaves little time for anything else.

“It’s very hard to balance work, school and my social life,” she said. “I am more devoted to my work than most college kids,” Lockett said.

If all that isn’t enough to keep Lockett busy, for the past year she has worked on an unpaid research project. Lockett is studying post traumatic stress symptoms in college students and how they affect the way they are able to find meaning in things such as religion.

Not everyone can handle it as well as Lockett. Cavill Thompson, an MU junior, works at a Kohl’s in Columbia on top of his job in the Army ROTC. Thompson said he struggles to handle his jobs and school.

“Most nights I get very little sleep,” he said. “But it’s what you have to do to make it by.”

Throughout her time at MU, Lockett has learned to be grateful for everything that has. Lockett has a friend who went to college with a nearly identical situation, but Lockett got a couple of scholarships from MU.

Although the scholarship money was not much, it was the difference between the life she lives today and dropping, which her friend did after one semester.

Lockett said her story isn’t anything new on the MU campus because many students she knows work multiple jobs.

MU Campus Dining Services runs the nine dining halls on campus and follows the university policy that prevents students from working more than 28 hours in a week. Tony Soots, an MU senior who works at one of the dining halls, said that because of this cap, “a lot of students have to work a second job.”

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