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Is getting a job during college beneficial or detrimental?

I was considering getting a job my freshman year of college because ive got a few bills to pay. Many people that I have talked to say that it is a bad idea as I will still be adjusting to the lifestyle and will have far too many things going on to have a job get in the way. I am still however thinking about getting one to pay my bills but is this a good idea. college jobs college-jobs

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Elise’s Answer

Hi Jessica,


As a recent graduate who worked on and off during college, I will be honest and say yes it is beneficial. Being able to talk about work experience, is almost necessary, in today's job search culture, even for a recent graduate. That being said, you can work part time, you can work during the summer, and volunteering on the weekends is an option. I would really try your best to push yourself to find a job over the summer/time off whether paid or unpaid, to help you in the future. Look for internships!


Good luck,
Elise

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Bethany’s Answer

Hi Jessica,


Thinking ahead about how you are going to manage bills while starting school is very smart. Many colleges discourage freshmen students from getting jobs because the college experience so very different from high school especially if you are living on campus. You will find yourself studying a whole lot more for your college classes. Another difference will be the ownership difference. In high school parents, teachers, and counselors are very present in guiding you through school. In college you are the sole owner of your education. Meaning if you fail a class and mom or dad contacts the professor on your behalf they will be turned away. You are in charge of your schedule, your grades, and your education.


Campus life can be super exciting but you really do have to discipline yourself in order to not be distracted by all the social activities. One thing you may consider is getting a summer job and putting your check straight into an account whose sole purpose is to help you pay your bills that first semester. I worked 3 part time, minimum wage jobs the summer before I started college and used those funds to pay for my rent, school tuition, gas, and groceries my first semester of college. It was great because it gave me time to adjust to being away from home, to try new things, make friends, and still study. I did not get a part time job that semester until the last month of school my freshmen year.


If you do get a job during your freshmen year try looking for on-campus jobs. Many of those jobs work with your class schedule and a few may allow you to use some of your time to study. Just make sure you ask if studying is permitted during work. Most on campus jobs offer between 10 to 20 hours a week and you will most likely be encouraged to take 15 to 18 credit hours or 5 to 6 classes a semester. You will generally plan on studying 2 to 3 hours a week for each credit hour, so roughly 30 to 45 hours a week in study time. When you add your study time to the time spent in class plus a job, even if it's just part time, that is going to consume much of your time. Plus you still need to sleep, right? And I will say that keeping up your grades during your freshmen year is super important. I volunteered as a mentor to students on academic probation at the university where I worked and many of those students were freshmen that were simply struggling to keep up with demands of higher education, manage their time and finances, and enjoy the college life that often comes with few boundaries.


The best thing is really think through what you can handle and still study to make good grades. Start small and if you feel like you can add more to your schedule, like a job, then add it when you have a strong grip on your other responsibilities.


Lastly I would say to check out these articles for some good tips on managing your finances in school and how to budget your time: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2013/10/03/6-must-follow-money-tips-for-college-students
http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2008/08/21/advice-on-how-to-study-in-college


Hope this helps!

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Suri’s Answer

It is true that it will not be easy to hold a part time job and get through your course work, especially the freshman year. However, If the extra cash flow is critical for you, you have to find a way to make it work. So, how can you make it work?


a. It will most probably mean that you will be giving up some or most of the social activities.
b. Even after that, you need to manage your time very effectively. You need to disciplined about keeping to-do lists or any other techniques that suit your style
c. You need to find a way to get through your studies efficiently. Look at your study habits - how do you prep for class, how actively you are paying attention in the class, how are you absorbing the concepts so that exam prep is efficient, etc.,
d. Do not hesitate to take help from friends.
e. Do everything you can to keep good health; you cannot afford too much down time...
f. If helps if the job you are undertaking is something you enjoy


good luck

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Justin’s Answer

Hi Jessica,


I elected not to get a part time job until my Junior year in college because I also had concerns as well about adjusting to school along with managing any work commitments. I will say though that my college, University of Colorado-Boulder, had a lot of jobs available to students that were very flexible to your class schedule. They offered positions in the dorms (front desk, cafeteria, etc.) along with departmental positions. If you do have the opportunity to work in a department that you have a career interest this can also be a great networking opportunity as I had friends that were able to interact with professionals that were adjunct professors or volunteering at the school.


I also had several friends that worked at restaurants/retail stores and were able to balance those responsibilities along with school and social commitments.


I would say though that depending on how much time you had spent away from home in high school that college can be a very new and different experience and the most important thing is that you're able to balance your school work as well as grow as a person and not to stretch yourself too thin.

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parikshith’s Answer

I will say though that my college, University of Colorado-Boulder, had a lot of jobs available to students that were very flexible to your class schedule. They offered positions in the dorms (front desk, cafeteria, etc.) along with departmental positions. If you do have the opportunity to work in a department that you have a career interest this can also be a great networking opportunity as I had friends that were able to interact with professionals that were adjunct professors or volunteering at the school

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Simeon’s Answer

In my experience, getting some part-time work into the schedule is very helpful, especially if your campus offers work-study jobs. A lot of these jobs will offer you a place where you can study (such as being able to study during the slow shifts of a library or dorm lobby) or free food (cafeteria). Outside jobs are a bit more of a stretch since you'd have to commute and have more serious job evaluations to be stressed out about. If you can land a job or internship related to your field during college, definitely go for it since your resume will need every year of experience you can possibly add to it.
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Pradeep’s Answer

If your parents give you money for living expenses, it’s probably just enough to get by. If you need extra cash for clothes, trips, or other entertainment, you may find yourself begging or borrowing to fund your fun.


Extra expenses are going to pop up, and your parents may not be able to dip into their wallets at every request. A part-time job can supplement the cash you receive – plus, earning your own money gives you a measure of independence.


Too often, college students apply for student credit cards, then use these cards to bridge financial gaps. However, with extra money in your pocket from a part-time job, you don’t have to rely on plastic. You can avoid high-interest debt while still enjoying your college experience.

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