Student jobs create a positive, stressful environment

Malik Hargett
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Students at UNC Asheville said their stress does not stop them from excelling in their studies as well as in their jobs.
“I think the stress is worth it because I don’t know of a place that gives this much power to the students,” said Metis Meloche, student co-director of the UNCA Student Environmental Center.
Meloche, hailing from Durham, has been working for UNCA since her freshman year.
Meloche worked as an employee relations and RockyLink coordinator before moving up to being the project coordinator at the UNCA Career Center.
“In my job as co-director, I get to work with a really great team,” Meloche said. “Garden managers, project coordinators, Eco-Rep coordinators, all kinds of different positions and we get to create projects and initiatives on campus.”
Meloche and her coworkers worked to create impacts on campus. They worked with the dining service to create compostable utensils on campus.  
“We’re given trust by the university and as a result we can make a difference,” Meloche said.
She uses the campus resources to help her manage her job and the stress that comes with it.
“Absolutely. I’m definitely stressed,” Meloche said.
The Career Center helps her talk about her plans and ambitions for the future.
“A lot of stress comes out physically in my body, so I’m trying to get a personal trainer to try and strengthen me,” Meloche said.
Meloche said there are other jobs on campus with the potential to make her more money, but her current position helps her with what she wants to do in the future.
“The Student Environmental Center lets me do the job I want to do when I get out of here,” Meloche said.
Meloche said her job allows her to work with students to help them feel involved and important.

“We help students by giving them an outlet to be a part of and experience change because we’re student-led, student-funded, independently-run and the only department of its kind at UNC Asheville,” Meloche said.
Taylor Heise, a senior student from Burlington, works as a resident assistant in Overlook Hall. In the past, she worked as a head orientation leader with transition programs.
“It’s been a really wonderful experience for me to have for the last three years and it’s going on my fourth year,” Heise said.
She said she plans to pursue a career in higher student affairs because of her work with the campus.
“I’m stressed pretty much all the time,” Heise said.
She said, however, that doesn’t make her regret having her jobs.
Heise said she’s never felt the need to use campus resources, but does consider her job as a resident assistant help for other students with stress.
The UNCA OneStop office works to help students in a number of different ways. From early alerts to advising, there are a number of specialists who prevent students from falling behind, Heise said.
Student services specialist Margaret Mahlin oversees the Academic Recovery Program, a class to help students get back on track.
“Often times stress can be a contributing factor to what led to a difficult semester,” Mahlin said. “Students who had a bad semester are required to participate in some form of the Academic Recovery Program.”
She teaches two academic recovery classes focusing on stress management and what works for different students.
Mahlin said stress often occurs as the main obstacle for students who have encountered a bad semester and a good way to manage that is usually the answer.
“We also help refer students to other departments on campus that can help them,” Mahlin said.