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Should Students Pick Up a Part Time Job?

October 12, 2018 | By Louis Tully


We all know that college life is a whirlwind of ups and downs. It’s both stressful and fun. Scary and exciting. Good and bad. But it’s not always so black and white. College is mostly a wonderful chapter in the lives of so many young people getting ready to make their big ‘start’ in life. So, what makes college life a lot more difficult than it has to be? If you answered, ‘money’ you’d be right. Many students find that picking up a part time job is a necessary evil when it comes to supporting themselves through their college years. Obviously, trying to juggle a part time job while keeping on top of schoolwork is no easy feat, but there are just as many pros as there are cons. One big pro is being able to extinguish a financial emergency without help from mom and dad or an installment loan for that matter. Here’s the good and the bad when it comes to working a part-timer while enrolled as a full-time student:

The Good

If you manage to find a part time job that’s directly related to your field of study, then you could be getting a head start on building up your career portfolio before even entering the real workforce. Employers specifically look for candidates who already have at least some experience in the field. Having a degree is one thing, but having a degree AND experience is how you get the job. As a plus, you’ll make a bunch of new friends and connections you could use to open yourself up to other opportunities down the road. Many people who land jobs do so because of who they know, not what they know. That said, if you’re going to work while in school, it’s best to try and land something that fits nicely with your field of study. Picking a part time gig at Pac Sun will only take your resume so far.

The Bad

Picking up a job, even one that’s part time, takes up a lot of hours. Though this may be good for your wallet, it may not prove so good for your grades. Normally, working a part time job is no big deal, but to the average college student, it can be a living nightmare. Suddenly, you don’t have enough for schoolwork, for your friends or even yourself. Whatever hours you would normally have to take a break and unwind, are used up at some job making close to minimum wage. It’s not the best trade off and it certainly doesn’t make college life any easier. Granted, having extra money to be able to do things with your friends outside of class is a good thing. But if making that money takes up all your free time, it kind of defeats the purpose. Before taking a part time job, consider how this new schedule will affect your studies and your social life. If the it doesn’t seem like it‘s going to be a good fit, try shopping around for a job that offers a better schedule instead. If you already have a job that’s not meshing well with your other college activities, there’s no shame in putting in your two-week notice. Remember, no job is worth sacrificing your grades or your friendships. Keep these things a priority and the right job will come.

The Grey

We all know that sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to take care of yourself, especially when it comes to financial wellness. But never forget the reason why you’re in college in the first place: to establish a firm foundation for your future. This isn’t just true for financial wellness, but for social wellness too. If you’re considering picking up a part time job to make life in college a little bit easier, make sure it does just that. Shop it around and go for the job that’s going to benefit you more than bring you down. Talk to your school’s advisor today and see what work programs might be available to you.