Transfer addiction: are students addicted to work?

Fall can be a daunting season for students; transfer applications are due, and certain coursework needs to be completed. The preparation for such a critical time can be filled with anxiety, especially from class workloads.

For some students, working toward transferring can become borderline addictive.

"I am definitely addicted to working too hard for school," said Parvez Shaikh, a student at Santa Monica College. "I'm at that point now. There isn't any easier way around it. You need to work hard for what you want in order to get where you want."

Shaikh, 20, who is majoring in economics, has applied to University of California, Riverside, California State University, Long Beach, UC San Diego, UCLA and UC Irvine. So far he has been accepted to UCR and CSULB.

He mentions that the workload to be admitted into these schools is not easy. As a third-year student, he has had to take a lot of math and English classes, which was not easy for him since he started in lower division classes.

Shaikh also said he worries about managing his schoolwork and a job.

"I used to work full time," Shaikh said. "So I had to cut down all my work hours to put more school time in, but I managed."

During his time at SMC, Shaikh noticed a change in his eating habits. Because he has to keep up with his classwork on top of his regular job and homework, he barely finds time to eat.

Shaikh said he will work even harder after transferring in order to graudate and begin working in his field.

Harisbeth Alejo, a psychology major at SMC, spoke about the struggles she has gone through in order to be able to apply next semester. The schools she plans to apply to are UC Santa Barbara, and UCI.

In order to prepare to transfer, Alejo has gone to counseling services and talked to several counselors.

She has had to put in a major amount of time studying since most of her classes are science courses.

Alejo mentioned that she can get overwhelmed with all of the work she does, but she has never felt addicted to work.

Even though she spends most of her time either in class or at home doing school work, she is not willing to give up.

"As long as you are determined to reach your goal," Alejo said, "everything is fine."

While working toward getting admitted into both universities, Alejo finds herself studying harder than she did in high school. She studied so much more that her family began to worry about her health and mindset.

Alejo's mom, Veronica Alejo, spoke about her daughter's stress.

"She sometimes doesn't eat healthy due to her stress caused by schoolwork," Veronica Alejo said.

Besides being worried about her health, Veronica Alejo does not worry about when her daughter will transfer to a four-year university. She knows that even though her daughter will work hard for school, she will never reach the point of being addicted to work.

Veronica Alejo mentioned that her daughter is a very determined student, and that she is going to keep encouraging her to further her education.

Leticia Montoya, a counselor at the college, talked about the different students that have visited her office and how she has helped them get ready to transfer.

Montoya said about half of the students that come into her office are nervous about not being ready to transfer on time.

She said that students want to overload their schoolwork and take as many units as they can. Even in some instances, they want to exceed the maximum 16 units available to take a semester.

"Oftentimes when students want to exceed that amount, I have to talk to them that it's really about balancing your schedule." Montoya said. "Being full-time, but also passing the classes you are in."

She also discouraged students from being full-time students and employees. She said that being a full-time student will take the same amount of work as being a full-time employee.

Montoya explained that she is not worried for those students when they transfer to a four-year university. She said she feels that the pressure is higher at community colleges because the students want to transfer to a better school.

She does not feel this constitutes as an addiction to schoolwork, but instead a desire to get into to a better school.

"I believe working too hard becomes an addiction when you do nothing but work to try to reach your goal," Shaikh said. "It's something you want to do, because you chose to work as hard as possible to get to where you want to be.