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Is having a job during college normal?

I would need a source of income during college to pay for my education and I was wondering if it is normal/feasible to have jobs while in college.

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Whitney’s Answer

This is a great question, Marco. I want to start by saying normal is subjective. My normal regarding my decisions etc, may seem abnormal for you due to your unique perspective. I would say that I've known many people who have worked during college, and others who did not. In my personal opinion, working while in school depends on your job readiness and career. I think working during school, once you have a grasp of things and where you want to go (or consider figuring this out) is great experience to have to apply what you are learning to the field. It's a great way to be exposed to what is needed to work in the employment space, and learn what you like and don't like. But it also depends on your abilities to be able to manage these different areas of your life.

If this question applies to you, I wish you the best in your upcoming decisions!
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Marco, this was very common when I was studying. I think it comes down to if you are able to juggle both a job and studying--for me I did not have the opportunity to try and see for myself so I am unsure if I could have. Meanwhile, many of my classmates were able to juggle the two quite efficiently from what I could see. You can also think about what kind of job would be suitable so you are not spending more energy than you have. Many people did a work-study program at school and took jobs at the library at school which allowed them some time to study as well :). Good luck!
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James’s Answer

As long as it doesn't interfere with your studies yes. Having an income source is good to have. My daughter did and and was juggling three jobs with school. Graduated in five years with two bachelors and two certificates.
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Ashley’s Answer

Typically yes and is possible to do. You just have to be clear with the job your are pursuing that school comes first and make them aware of your schedule updates and changes.
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Carrie’s Answer

Hi Marco,
Yes, it is absolutely possible! :-) I had a couple of different jobs in college. It is definitely a balancing act, and you have to set clear boundaries with employers about your class schedule and studies. I had both on and off campus jobs throughout my time in school. I preferred on campus for convenience, personally, but both have their unique benefits and challenges. Just make sure to prioritize your studies whenever you can!
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Stephanie’s Answer

Yes! Having a job is very normal during college. I have had a part-time job during every school year and full-time internships during the summer. Having a job has a lot of benefits, not just financial. It helps prepare you for your career and gives you something to add to your resume. No matter the industry, most companies will be happy to see you worked during college. On the flip side, working can put a strain on finishing school work. Finding a balance can be hard. If you can, I would try to find an accommodating boss, who understands that school comes first. Being able to take a day off here and there is nice if you have an exam or lots of homework.
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Madeline’s Answer

It is very normal and instills good work ethic. It does require balance and self discipline so that you focus on your studies. I had 2 and sometimes 3 jobs in college as a full time student and my grades did suffer when I worked too much. I recommend having no more than 2 jobs and never let the reason you're really in college out of sight. Also learn how to live cheap and shop deals.
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Joseph’s Answer

Certainly possible, and not too uncommon, but I wouldn't have said it was the norm either. I'd guess somewhere around 10% of students I knew had part-time jobs alongside their studies. It depends on a lot of factors - balancing your financial situation against fully focusing on your studies. I think it works out quite well for students on certain study programs (especially arts and humanities) that don't have a lot of contact hours, and is more of a struggle the more hours of lectures and workshops you have each week. Evening and weekend hospitality, catering and nightlife type jobs are quite a common choice for students, although I've heard of people doing all sorts of things.
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Joseph’s Answer

Very normal, at times you may feel overwhelmed like there isn't enough time in the day to finish everything, but I assure you the hard work and time will be worth it for the strength and knowledge you gain from the experience.
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Ashley’s Answer

Hello Marco,
It definitely is possible to work and go to school. Ultimately it would depend on your commitment to your classes and how many that involves in relation to the amount of hours you may be available to work. For example of you worked part time and went to school part time then it would likely balance out depending on hours and demand. I would suggest that if you were considering working while taking classes that you evaluate whether or not you would be taking classes full time or part time and then once you apply for positions upon interviewing make it very clear that you need a job that works with the fact that you are taking classes and is flexible upon request. I hope this helps.
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Kelly’s Answer

Hello Marco,

Time management will be key when juggling both studies and employment. Will it be hard? Yes, but in the long run it will be worth it as doors will open up when you have your degree.
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Joshua’s Answer

It is very normal to have a job in college many kids get jobs on and off campus. I would recommend if you wish to do a job on campus go to the student employment office. Also after you have taken a few classes if there is a professor you like or a certain subject you really did well in TA is always an option. If that ends up being a subject you major in or not it also is a great item for a resume. Also make sure you schedule organize for the job around studying and classes. Also always build in time to be social. You need to make sure you create a good balance between school, work, and social life.
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Sikawayi’s Answer

Hello Marco, thank you for your question. Actually, it is very normal for college students to have one or sometimes two jobs, this is not the way most of them planned for it to be, but college can be very costly. There will be some sacrifices that come along with this, for starters if you're a full-time student and you work every night something is going to have to give. Like you need the job to be in school so you may have to go to school full-time online. Best of luck
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Miles’s Answer

Yes, many students are offered work study within their financial aid packages for this purpose.
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Abigail’s Answer

Hi Marco,

I believe it is actually very common to have a job as a college student. I personally know more peers who have jobs (and or have had a job in college), than those who do not have a job while taking undergraduate courses. For example, some students have on-campus jobs (which often do not pay very well, and only allow you to work a 10-15 hour maximum per pay period). The pro to an on-campus job is they are a lot more flexible with you schedule due to the fact they are aware you are a student (then again this ultimately depends on the employer).
Then there are the students who have jobs off-campus, which includes me. I work two part-time off-campus jobs while taking my courses. From my own personal experience, I would encourage having a job in college because even if you do not need the money right then and there it is a great opportunity to save or even have extra spending money.

Hope this helps!
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Adrienne’s Answer

Hi Marco, I think it depends on you and what you are able to balance. I think it is good to have a job while in college to build skill and experience; however, if your grades start to drop as a result you may need to either take less hours or drop your job position until you feel you are in a more stable place to balance both.
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Dean’s Answer

waiting tables/working in food industry is great experience, good pay, and pretty flexible hours making it a great college job.
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Rija’s Answer

Hi Marco!

I believe it is totally normal to have a job while going to college. During my undergrad, I worked for two weeks before Covid hit so I hadn't experienced that much of it. After I graduated, I got a job and continued taking some prerequisites for my masters degree and I realized that it is possible. It depends on you as well, if you believe you can work a job while studying. If you can, that's great and if you do not think you can, that is completely okay! I know it might be nice to earn some income but your studies are very important as well. If this is something you want to do, you might want to look into looking for a part-time job. That way, you can have your schedule fixed with your employer in a way that you can focus on school as well! I wish you luck :)
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Emily’s Answer

It's very normal - some may have a part time job for extra money if you're able to live on campus or still live at home, and/or have money to supplement any scholarships or grants you may have.
Working while going to school will definitely push you to be organized and manage your time wisely. I worked full time on third shift and attended school during the day full time when I attended college. It definitely wasn't easy, but I was living on my own so I did what I had to do. In doing so I didn't have the 'normal' college experience as I commuted to campus and would only stay around campus outside of classes if I was working in the studio or on a paper (campus allowed me to focus a bit better, personally). I didn't get to really experience all of campus though or join any groups - if you have the option to work part time that could give you some leeway with that.
Depending on where you go to school, you may have to live with a roommate or two - that will help offset expenses if you're in a more expensive area. Attending community college for core credits before going to a main campus will help you save as well.
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CVS Health GMCIP’s Answer

Normal is a very relative term - everyone's experiences are different so your normal is a different definition from someone else. That said, there are many students who do work through college. If you need the income, then work-study is an option - an example of this is working in a department within the university. In addition, different organizations have positions that are open in person, hybrid, and virtual. There are positions of all different kinds. Perhaps you want to find jobs that fit in with your education (i.e. tutoring, teaching assistant). Other jobs are also available on campus (working in dining services, working for the bookstore, etc). Even other jobs can help you further your career (i.e. working for your IT department, doing research in a lab). At the end of the day, finding the right number of hours/jobs that fit your work schedule/extracurriculars is the best way to go about it while also balancing your financial needs and constraints.
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