Working in college

Getting an education outside of class

We came to college to learn—to learn how to be a nurse, to learn how to be an engineer, to learn how to be a businessman or woman. While learning those things is obviously important for future career goals, I think that working in college prepares students for the future in ways that our professors cannot teach us.

I am currently working two jobs, taking 18 credits and involved in RSOs with leadership positions. When it comes time to go to work (obviously I’m not talking about working at the Torch), most of the time, I would rather not, but at the same time, I am happy to have a job and to say that I am independent from my parents’ piggy bank and I know I am capable of juggling work and school.

Working in college teaches time management. Balancing school, work, friends and other responsibilities is no easy task to learn and sometimes I may have to stay in on a Saturday night to catch up on homework instead of hanging out with my friends, but it is all about priorities and making the right decision—which is also something that you’re better off learning in college, rather than later on when the world is not so forgiving.

Working a dead end job in college such as waitressing, cashiering or the many other jobs out there, you learn how to treat other employees at other places of business. For example, I have spent many years waitressing, so when I go out to eat, I know that my server for the evening has at least three other tables to take care of and acting rude, tipping poorly or being overly demanding will not get you anywhere besides last on their list of serving priorities.

The most obvious benefit of working is the semi-big-fat paycheck at the end of the week. Having my own source of income is rewarding. I know that I earned it and it is all mine. I rarely have to swallow my pride and ask my parents for money.

However, with the paycheck comes more responsibility—money management. This is the kind of responsibility I don’t mind. I have money and it is mine. I can shop online, go to half off apps, see movies or whatever else I want and not have to worry about draining my savings from the summer before school ends.

Most of the time I find myself spending my paycheck on bills, which is not as fun as the list above, but it is still just as rewarding.

I have been working since my junior year of high school, so it is something that I am used to, and I feel weird when I do not work. I understand that not every college student can balance school with work, but just like school and learning how to study, it can be done.

Every job is different, some jobs are easier than others, some jobs are more demanding than others and some jobs are better than others. With every job that I have had, I have learned things that I can take with me and things about myself.

It would never hurt to try to get a job, whether it is on campus or at a local business. Working in college has made me responsible and even a better student.