Part-time work for college kids can be great to help reduce costs of school. However, employment should be secondary to schoolwork. The choice to work during college allows students to gain meaningful work experience, but please be aware that employment in college can effect your health and studies. Each student and the situation are a little different. But if you’re considering working while studying, here are a few things to think about.
How it Can Help:
Manage Your Time
Before you go apply for a part-time job, think about how you will handle juggling work and schoolwork. Consider these strategies for making it work:
- Talk about your schedule with a trusted friend or family member
- Don’t commit to working a lot of hours immediately
- Avoid time conflicts by planning ahead
Adding work to the mix of studying, school and social life forces students to prioritize their time and maintain a regular schedule.
Requires You to Be Responsible
When you start working part time, you will learn the importance of responsibilities. You will also gain a sense of accomplishment with each paycheck, and the chances are, you won’t waste that money the way you’ve been spending your parents’.
Active & Involved
Most college jobs are either on or around campus, so they’re hot spots for meeting people your age while you earn some extra cash. Working while in college, especially if you’re on campus working in the library or auditorium, helps you create an on-campus presence. You’ll know what’s going on and have insider information about upcoming events. For off-campus opportunities, look online for jobs that are near your campus and popular for students, such as coffee shops, fitness centers or smoothie bars.
How It Hurts:
Some stress is good. We’ve talked about it at Caveman College. Our mind and body feel stress when we have to overcome a challenge, but the stress can improve our cognitive performance, according to Psychologytoday.com. But I did say “some” stress. Too much can cause headaches, high-blood pressure, depression and emotional disorders that lead to even more serious heath problems. If not managed correctly, or if the situation is wrong, it can be excessively stressful, which will negatively effect your health and grades.
Takes a lot of Time
Working, studying, sleeping, exercising, going to class and having a social life will surely keep you busy. And sometimes, when you’re faced with the decision to sleep or exercise you’ll most likely choose sleep. Everyone needs several hours of shut eye to be alert and healthy, but it becomes a problem when you don’t have (or make) enough time regularly to do all of it.
You May Lose Sight of Your Goal(s)
Even if you’ve found a balance in managing your time, being involved in so much may cause you to lose sight of your end goal. If you’re too busy surviving everyday life, it’s easy to forget why you choose your major in the first place. If you decide to take a job in college, make sure regularly to assess how it effects your everyday life. If the two aren’t consistently matching up, it may be time to say “maybe next year.”
About the Author:
A recent college graduate, Devin enjoys the freedom that comes with a freelance writing career.