Most of us have started our new lives on college campuses around the nation. Between orientations, new clubs, classes, and freedom, we are starting to feel like adults (at least, a little).
But with all that fun, comes financial responsibility (a whole lot of it). Books, alone, can cost up to $400 per semester; so when you add in recreational uses, club fees, and emergency money, you’re staring down the vast, black hole that is your wallet.
What do you do? The one thing you can do is get a part-time job.
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How do you start the process of getting a part-time job while in school?
There are a few things to consider:
1. Your schedule:
You no longer have to be in a schedule that keeps you stuck in school from dawn to dusk. With college, it means having a little more freedom with when you take classes, which means a little more freedom in how much you work (which makes a huge difference between a 10-hour check and a 30-hour check. Cha-Ching!). Reviewing your schedule and balancing your planner can help with the job search.
2. Work Study:
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When you receive a financial aid packet from your college, you might be included what is called work-study. Work Study is the college placing you in a working position around campus (or off) so you can earn money to pay for things like books and room and board.
How they decide, what job they put you in varies from one institution to the next. While you may be placed in a job that coincides with your major (i.e. Computer Science majors will most likely be working in IT or Information Technology), others may be placed in occupations on a first-come-first-serve basis. It’s best to talk with your financial aid officer.
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Even if you aren’t awarded work-study, ask around to see if any of your professors need any extra hands with work. Professors understand the struggle when it comes to college students and finances, plus they like having others help them with work when they need it.
So, even if that means collecting frogs for your bio class or editing/grading writing assignments, if they are willing to hire, then you have a job.
Just simply applying for any position outside of school will up your chances of getting a job by 50%. Employers are always in need of students to fill in positions because college students are desperate for jobs (well we are!), there isn’t a need for a long-term contact or commitment, and they are looking for fresh, young faces to represent their businesses. Especially if you live in a college/university town, getting a job is as easy as applying…so, just apply already!
Applying for jobs can be a pain in the neck, with filling out a tall stack of applications, going to nerve-wracking interviews, and dealing with constant rejections (this is simply how life goes).
Personally, I don’t like the whole process myself, but it does teach you things about having a job. It gives you skills in resume building, helps you create connections for future references, and teaches you skills that can be used for other jobs.
So, go out there and get that part time job! Your future and your wallet will appreciate it.