Going to school is arguably a full-time job in of itself sometimes. Depending on your major, your classes, and the amount of semester hours you are taking at a time, college academia can definitely be stressful and time-consuming. However, a high number of students do end up tackling this dual lifestyle of work and school. Last year, it was reported that approximately two-thirds of college students work part-time. In today’s economy, this is not surprising. But let’s take an overall look at what students end up gaining in the long run from managing a job during the school year.
Prioritization: Many studies have shown that the more a student has going on, the more productive he or she will be in the end. Although you may feel overwhelmed with a crowded class schedule and giant assignments, adding a job to that list of commitments will actually help you develop better scheduling skills to prioritize well. The less free time you have, the more sensibly you’ll plan out how to utilize it best. Having such a busy schedule forces you to plan ahead rather than procrastinate and will often drive you to work harder to accomplish more when you do have a chance to sit down and study.
Money: Most people are finding themselves in some sort of financial struggle right now due to the poor state of the economy, and there is certainly no shortage of students who are being hit hard. Regardless of how well-off you may or may not be, it is never a bad idea to save up some cash. But when so many students are being forced to take out tons of loans and eventually finding themselves in major debt once they graduate, they are realizing that getting a job in college may actually be quite necessary. Even if you feel things are under control at the moment, you need to look into what your financial situation is going to look like after college – with the extreme difficulty college grads are facing in finding “real jobs,” you might as well be safe rather than sorry. Balancing your job with classwork may be hard and not always fun, but unfortunately this is the reality we are living in and you might kick yourself later if you didn’t take this step to make some money while you had the chance.
A Reality Check: College life can often feel like an alternative universe, and in many ways it is. So to minimize the shock of harsh reality you’ll get once you graduate, try to break away from student life just a little bit in order to keep yourself in line. Having a job will remind you of real world responsibilities, keep you more grounded, and give you great practice in managing your own money as well as bank accounts. You’ll also get experience dealing with managers, customers, and co-workers who you may or may not like. Moreover, you’ll get to spend time in a different and more structured environment that will expose you to just enough doses of real world situations before you’re completely thrown out on your own with that cap and gown.