Tech students burn the midnight oil

March 25, 2017

Sulaiman Yousef, a graduate architecture student, works at the all-night printing lab. – Photo by Dillon Nelson


Students discuss the challenge of balancing life, work and school


Dillon Nelson
Staff Reporter| djn005@latech.edu


Some places around Ruston and Louisiana Tech stay open 24/7, late into the night or into the early morning. This means employers must work in graveyard shifts to keep them running.


Students at Louisiana Tech recognize these types of jobs as good opportunities both in terms of money and time management.


Rafael Torrealba, a senior industrial engineering major, works at the all-night printing lab in the student center and is required to work late night and early morning shifts. He said these shifts make it to where he doesn’t have to deal with as many unreasonable people as the normal shifts.


“I think the only employees who would truly like having to stay up so late are night owls or very disciplined employees,” he said. “However, this part of the job is not that hard at all, and it gives you plenty of time to study and meet people.”


Hong Nguyen, a senior mathematics major, said she finds the late-night shift to be a calm place to study as people are not usually as rowdy as they might normally be during the day. She said most students are there to focus and study.


“I usually get a really nice peaceful environment for both work and study that you usually don’t have at regular hours,” she said. “I often feel solidarity with some students who are working really hard to finish homework late at night, and I get to joke with them and talk which makes my job easier.”


Genesis Speed, a freshman interior design major and residential adviser for Aswell, said her late-night shifts as an RA fit very nicely into her overall schedule.


“When having late night shifts as an RA, the way to balance school work is just having good time management skills,” she said. “So one of the benefits to having a job that is later at night, is that during the job you can do all your work and also go to bed directly after working.”


Speed said she normally is not the type to enjoy being forced to stay up all night but that there are exceptions.


“I am not a night owl, but if there are other people around I can stay up all night long,” she said. “It’s always fun being able to speak with residents as they come in and out of the building for whatever reason.”


Sulaiman Yousef, a graduate architecture student, has worked at the 24-hour lab as well as at Citgo which both require graveyard shifts. He said though it took adjusting, he has found these types of shifts suit his lifestyle of attending school while taking care of his wife and son.


“Maybe these types of night shifts can be difficult to many, but their benefit is that the lab and store aren’t as busy as during the day,” he said. “Being an architecture student, as many may know, the workload requires me to stay up late nights, and these shifts fit quite well with my schedules and allow me to get a lot of work, school or otherwise, done.”


Yousef said he now definitely considers himself a night owl who thrives during the night. He said even though the graveyard shifts often make him tired, he is more productive during this time.


“For the past five years, I have stayed up more late nights than I have gone to bed at a reasonable hour,” he said. “I’d say I have really gotten used to them, and feel like I achieve more during the night than the day to the point I’d do exclusively graveyard shifts if my boss would allow it.”


Yousef said the late night atmosphere combined and occasional camaraderie with other students help to inspire him.


“The effort that we do in school is more than three times the effort you do at work, so it helps you push yourself in case of a shorthand at work,”he said. “Interaction with late night students at work is at a minimum as we all have work to do, but I have learned that many of the students that stay up late are in similar situations and have big dreams they are working hard to accomplish.”



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