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What kind of job do you recommend for a first year college student?

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I'm a high school senior this year and going to be a college freshmen before I know it. I know it's important to focus on classes and even more time studying, but I don't want to graduate from college with a bunch of debt. What kind of job would you recommend to a new college student that wouldn't "overwhelm" him/her. I do qualify for work study, but I'm not sure that would be the best option because it doesn't pay that much. Should I just do work study? Should I get a job at a fast food place or a store or something? What about online jobs? Do you think that would make it easier and less time consuming? There's also side jobs. Do you think it would be beneficial to just do things like bake sales on the weekends or selling art or something small like that in my free time? #college Questions #life Struggles

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Ekaterina "Katya"’s Answer

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Hi Shaila,


I would encourage you to find a job or two while in college to graduate with 0 debt.

1) There are multiple options as you listed just find the ones that will work for you. Certainly it is better to find job close to home/college as it will help you save time on driving. Uber driving could be an option.

2) Find a job on a weekend too.

3) Maximize credit hours taken in semester. When I was in college I worked full time (babysitting / waiting tables) and took 18 credits each semester to get the most credits for the same amount of money paid for semester and graduate faster.

4) If you can, live with your parents while in college and even you start your job that will help you save on the living expenses (I didn't have that luxury as I paid for my apartment, car, insurances, and living expenses).

5) Order international editions of the books on half.com (or similar) based on ISB number that will help you save thousands of dollars.

6) AND always sell them on the same website once semester is over. 1) You will never look at your college books once you graduate. 2) You will return 90% of what you spent on your books.

7) Study well and get the scholarships this will help you spend less on tuition.

8) For the first 4 semesters (2 years) take classes in the community college that will align with your major in the future and transfer credits to the school from which you want to graduate. This will save a ton of money as basic courses are all the same and won't impair your knowledge.

9) Borrow as less as possible and only loans that don't grow interest while you are in college. If you have to take loans that accumulate interest while you are in school, PAY it while in school and do not let it compound!

10) Take full-time internships in summer or during the busy season, save the money and pay them all for your school debt while in school.

Graduate with 0 debt like I did! This is great start to your adulthood!

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Jordan’s Answer

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Hi Shaila! I held various side jobs in undergrad and graduate school to try and offset the cost. Some of the job experiences proved beneficial once I graduated. Generically, I would recommend that you find a job that ties directly to your major or desired career. If that is not possible, find a job that will help you build skills that will support your future career. I knew that my job at PwC would require building relationships quickly with clients and co-workers. Working retail at a clothing store offered me the opportunity to practice making small talk with customers and asking questions to determine what they are actually shopping for. Most retailers do require a minimum number of available hours during holiday shopping season, they do offer decent flexibility when it comes to scheduling.


However, if the goal is to purely maximize income, I have heard that tutoring and babysitting/ nannying jobs pay very well for limited hours.


If looking for jobs that offer skills related to your desired career, I would talk to professors/ professionals about what skills one should have and then find jobs that related.

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Shannon’s Answer

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Hi Shaila! When I was in college I found a job tutoring. I enjoyed this because it was in a subject that I already knew a lot about, and did this for a few years. You meet a lot of people on campus this way and it is a good thing to put on your resume as well. I recommend looking for paid internships during the summer as well. If you know your major already, it is helpful to find internships/summer jobs that align with your major. A lot of my friends also did tour guides on campus, worked at the school book store, or found other on campus jobs that made it easy since they were close to the dorms/apartments.

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