Will I have more free time and less stress once I finish college and go to work?
As a #computer-science major in UIC, my many assignments and study hours result in very little time for anything else, including hobbies and sleep. I was wondering whether that is going to change once I have a job, or not.
Similarly, does work give stress as college does?
As stated in the previous answer, the answer to this question does depend on the company you decide to work for. There are companies, typically start-ups, that demand more time because of restricted time lines, whereas other companies make work-life balance a priority.
When you're interviewing, you'll have opportunities to ask the interviewer/recruiter questions, and I encourage you to bring up questions such as, "How is the work-life balance like at [insert company]?" or "How many hours do you find yourself coding a day?". Take advantage of those moments to ask these kinds of questions. You should interview the company, as much as they're interviewing you.
One of the perks I found from working is that once you go home, you have free reign to pursue hobbies, relax, or even sleep (whereas in school, you will still have homework/projects after returning from classes). So, it does/can get better.
The answer to your question lies in the profession, firm, and amount of time you choose to commit to your chosen career. You will be happy to learn that there are many well-paying jobs that demand a normal 40-50 hour work week from their employees. That being said, there are most certainly firms on the opposite end of the spectrum that may ask you to work even more hours than you are currently committing to your studies at school.
To answer your question, yes, a plethora of career opportunities that allow an individual to have an enjoyable work life balance do exist. You will need to perform some research to find the right opportunity that aligns with your interests and skill-set.
You will be stressed only if you are not enjoying your work. Do what you love and love what you do, that way you will never feel that you are working, you will enjoy each moment at work. Initially, when you start you carrier, you need to work hard as there will be lots to learn. School/College life and work life are totally different. Work hard initially, learn as much as you can, it will help you always. Once you build your knowledge and create a reputation at work, then you will have good amount of time plus less stress also as you would know how to handle things.