Sex and Relationships

A College Student’s Relationship with School, Work, and Personal Life Issues

The Struggle to Find a Life Balance

By: Jessica Hart

Gabriella O’Gorman, age 24, was born and raised in Bay Parkway Brooklyn
New York. O’Gorman moved to Staten Island in the first grade. Credit: Gabriella O’Gorman

Gabriella O’Gorman expressed her struggles being a full time student, working multiple jobs and also the constant emotional struggle of her mother being ill. Gabriella currently majors 

in Early Education at CSI and takes five education classes. 

On top of this massive workload, O’Gorman also works two jobs. If work and school full time doesn’t seem like alot, the constant worry of having an ill mother will set any student over the edge. 

“Going back to college after three years was extremely hard, but rewarding,” said 

Gabriella O’Gorman. “I knew I had a lot to fix, but I was up for the challenge.” 

One of the main reasons O’Gorman dropped out of college when she was 18, was because her GPA was not up to par. The stressed out student found it very difficult to work on all of her assignments while taking on the tasks her mother was no longer able to handle. O’Gorman’s mother had cancer and was battling this deadly disease since she was a child. 

“Being the oldest child when my mom was in the hospital for a long period of time, I had to take on her responsibilities,” said O’Gorman. “It was so hard to balance school, a social life, and all my moms household chores at the age of seventeen.” 

O’Gorman worked eight to three as a paraprofessional. After coming home from work, she had to take on her mother’s household chores. Her mother was not well enough to complete these tasks on her own. 

Some of these chores included doing the laundry, going grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and making sure the house was neat and tidy. She also had to check in on her siblings to make sure their homework was completed and that they didn’t need help with anything.

The overloaded student also worked for an establishment that set up children’s birthday parties on the weekends. She wanted to help out her family financially as much as possible, which explains why she took on another responsibility. 

O’Gorman spent a majority of her childhood in and out of the hospital visiting her mother. Her mom’s cancer was her family’s biggest worry, but she also had other major surgeries while she was ill. 

Open heart surgery was on the list of the many surgeries she had to undergo. 

O’Gorman was forced to give up most of her social life to help out her family. It’s very challenging to make time for your hobbies while working, attending school, and caring for a sick parent. 

Some of O’Gorman’s hobbies include riding quads, hiking, and exploring new places or sights. She also enjoys to shop with her friends, attend a newly released movie, and relax whenever she had the opportunity. 

O’Gorman was forced to put these hobbies on the back burner because of all her new responsibilities. This did not make her bitter, rather, she was humbled to be able to help her 

family in their time of need. She also knew she had to complete her school assignments to create a better life for herself in the future. 

O’Gorman currently working on her student profile for her intro journalism
class. She uses her MacBook Pro to complete this assignment. Credit: Gabriella O’Gorman

O’Gorman  wants to eventually teach special education. When Gabriella accepted the job as a paraprofessional, it helped her get her foot in the door of the school system. This will come to her advantage when the time comes to apply for a teachers position. 

O’Gorman realized she wanted to become a teacher because she loved to help people. 

She came to this realization throughout the years of having to care for her mother. 

“My mom being sick helped lead my life in the right direction,” said O’Gorman. “I owe all my future success to her.”


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