t’s 2 a.m. when SUNY New Paltz senior, Therese Cavalari, finally walks out of work. She wears a black collared shirt, black dress pants, and a black apron with an Applebee’s logo on its left side. Her shirt is covered with marinara
sauce stains while the bottom of her pant legs look like she’s been walking around in mud all day. It’s Friday night, and all she wants to do is go home and rest. The 23-year-old art history major will catch up on sleep before her 5 p.m. bar shift starts again on Saturday evening. Her routine is common. Sunday will be a double shift for her, waiting tables from 12 p.m. till 9 p.m. Then comes Monday—the beginning of her chaotic week—juggling both class and work. She wakes up Monday mornings and drives 20 minutes to school, sits through six hours of class, then heads straight to work where she will wait on tables for eight hours. She doesn’t work on Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s; but uses these days to attend class and catch up on homework. “I work so much so I can pay my bills. There’s a choice factor, but there is a necessity. My father isn’t able to completely financially support me as much as I need to be,” Cavalari said. After graduating high school in 2004, Cavalari decided to travel to Europe instead of enrolling in college. She continues to travel as much as possible. Her passion for this hobby has helped accumulate a $9,009.53 credit card debt. Following that year of traveling, Cavalari enrolled herself in Orange County Community car insurance, and numerous credit card bills. Now, almost five years later, she has acquired a debt close to $20,000 and is working as a necessity to get by. In current times, students like this appear more often. According to the 2007 National Center for Education Statistics, 22 percent of full-time students work 20 to 34 hours per week and 9
Photo Courtsey of Meghan Zanetich
College. During this time she acquired a cell phone bill, car payment,
Therese has been bartending at Applebee’s for almost three years. All the money she earns goes toward bills each month.
percent of full-time students work 35 hours or more each week.
employment. They have set up a program for New Paltz
“I manage it by choosing classes that can accommodate my students to find jobs on and off campus called JobX. On work schedule, not the other way around,” Cavalari said.
this Web site, students can search for available positions
SUNY New Paltz Financial Aid Director, Daniel Sistarnik, in the area. Sistarenik says this Web site was started to does not recommend this type of lifestyle for all students but does guide students to potential employers. “The persistence rate of studies we have done
believe that responsibility can grow from having a job.
“You better get very organized if this is the life you are show that people on work study that have a job and have going to be living,” Sistarnik said, “I wouldn’t recommend it for to show up somewhere actually do better in school,” 18-year-olds, but I think 10 to 20 hours of work each week will not Sistarnik said. kill students. To have to be somewhere and sign a timesheet will help them in the long run.” The Financial Aid officials support
Cavalari currently holds a 3.3 grade point average while taking 12 credits this semester. Her time sheet at Applebee’s reads between 36 to 40 hours per week. She says she regrets never living the typical college life, but thinks that she is making the best out of her situation. “I know that working and attending school makes me stronger. I am able to deal with certain situations financially, and it’s also enriching. I’m taking a course in life,” Cavalari said. With support from friends and family, Cavalari plans for success. Natassia Donohue, a fellow New Paltz student admires how hard her friend works. “I give her a lot of credit for what she does. I work, but not nearly as much as her. I know it takes a lot out of her, but some how she gets by,” Donohue said. Cavalari is not looking for sympathy or pity. She gets this attitude from her parents. “My father expects this, my mom admires it. Emotionally they support me but they don’t commend me. It’s like, do you want a medal?” Cavalari said. For now, she will continue to work hard and graduate in May. “I’m going to throw a party and invite people I don’t know when I’m done with this,” Cavalari said with excitement. mz
Learn More about Therese on Page 3.
Monthy Expenses CREDIT CARD
EXTRAS Photo Courtsey of Meghan Zanetich
Therese often spends her free time in the school library. This is where she can focus on getting all of her school work done.
â€˘ If you are a SUNY New Paltz student looking for a job, JobX is a great resource to use. To view jobs available, visit their Web site at www.newpaltz.studentemployment. ngwebsolutions.com. â€˘ For tips on balancing both school and work call Oasis, the SUNY New Paltz intervention center and telephone hot-line at 845-257-4945.
Photo Courtsey of Meghan Zanetich
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In addition to her busy work load, Therese will be interning at a local gallery next semester. She hopes to get a job as a museum curator.
A little info Hometown: Washingtonville, N.Y. Current Town: Newburgh, N.Y. Goal: graduate college Favorite Book: The Metamorphosis Favorite Musician: Boniver Favorite travel destination: Edinburgh, Scotland Photo Courtsey of Meghan Zanetich
Favorite Designer: Burberry First thing after graduation: sleep
Therese is pouring beer for guests that come in often to see her. She works on the bar every weekend till 1 a.m.