As a potential student, you may ask yourself if you should work while in college and what the pros and cons may be.
Most college students will work while attending school and appreciate the benefits.
Currently, 80% of part-time students work, while 70% of full-time students have a job, which means working while in school seems to be the norm.
While there are some disadvantages, time management and planning can help.
If you are up to the challenge and focus on the goals you set for yourself, you can have an excellent college experience while earning some extra cash.
Learn more about the pros and cons of working while in college, things to consider while looking for a job, tips for balancing school and work, and how to reach out to college planning specialists.
The pros of working while in college
There are many advantages to working while in college if you have the opportunity and time to.
One of the main reasons students decide to maintain a job is for the extra money.
Earning a paycheck can help with daily expenses and give you fun money to engage in activities and events.
Some students even use their earnings to help pay for their schooling, which allows them to rely less on their family’s money.
Working while in college gives students more experience in the real world and the workforce.
Maintaining a job will look good on your resume, as many companies like their employees to have experience.
When you graduate, your work experience may make finding a job in your field easier.
What better way to make connections than by meeting professional and successful people?
You will meet many people when you work, and many will already have strong relationships with others.
The more people you know, the better your odds are of being introduced to other professionals, finding work, networking, and branching out when you graduate.
Learn to balance responsibilities
You will learn time management skills when you take on a job in college.
The only way to be a successful student and maintain a job is to learn how to manage your time and use organizational skills.
You can even learn how to balance your finances better when you earn a weekly paycheck and need to determine how to spend it.
The cons of working while in college
While there seem to be more benefits to working while in school, there are a few disadvantages to consider.
Attending college can be stressful, working can be stressful, and trying to juggle both can be overwhelming.
If you don’t have a choice, there are tips to lessen the stress and make life more manageable and enjoyable.
Less time for socializing
The more responsibilities and obligations you have, the less time you will have to socialize with friends and family.
It can feel like you are missing out, but remember that this won’t last forever.
When you have time to spend with your loved ones, you will learn to make the most of your time together.
Less time to study
Students who work may have less time to study, depending on the number of hours they work per week.
Working on or close to campus can save you time on your commute and give you more time to study.
Fewer college experiences
There are many activities and events offered to college students. Those who work may have to miss out on some.
While you may not be able to experience everything, you can make time for events that are most important to you by using your time management skills.
Things to consider if you choose to work
You may not have a choice in whether you will work or not, but it is a good idea to consider the following to help you choose a job.
How many hours should you work?
Many full-time students work 10-20 hours per week. But, the hours recommended are 10-15 per week.
This allows students to work, attend classes, study, and maintain friendships.
Part-time students’ typical work week consists of 20-30 hours.
On-campus vs. off-campus work
Students who choose an on-campus job may be able to work more hours, as they will spend less time driving.
However, some on-campus jobs are work-study, and earnings will go towards tuition.
A student may need to work fewer hours while working off campus, but they will receive a paycheck, have more job opportunities, and make more money hourly.
What type of job should you look for?
Since juggling school and work will already be stressful and challenging, it is wise to find a low-stress job.
Students will also need a flexible job that works with their school schedule and other responsibilities.
Tips for balancing school and work
There are ways to make your college and work experience less stressful and more manageable.
Use a calendar and planner to remember critical due dates, school events, and work shifts.
Create a schedule and to-do list to prioritize your responsibilities.
Work on campus or nearby
The closer you work to your school, the less time and money you will spend on commuting.
It can also make life less hectic when you are not running back and forth across town.
Don’t work in-between classes
Schedule your shifts before your first class or after your last. Trying to work in-between classes can add stress to your daily life.
Use the time between classes to catch up with friends, study or engage in self-care.
Don’t take on too much
While taking on extra shifts may lead to extra cash it can also lead to failing grades, less sleep, and burnout.
Make your health a top priority, even if that means working fewer hours.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Keeping your grades up and working will require you to be physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy.
Every day take some time out for self-care. It should be a part of your daily schedule and routine.
Learn to say no
Saying no can be difficult for many people. You don’t want to let your friends, family, or boss down, but your health and education should come first.
Most people will understand your boundaries more than you think when they know why you need to say no.
Are you ready to begin your journey?
If you are a potential college student, or a college student interested in working, it could be beneficial to reach out to college planning specialists.
Life can be challenging, but experts and those with more life experiences can help you find solutions to many of your problems.
If you are struggling to find a job, pay for college, manage your time or create an effective schedule, we can help you.