Should You Work Part Time While Going To College?

You did it! You’ve graduated from high school and are moving on to bigger and better things. Goodbye lumpy cafeteria gravy. Farewell cramped yellow school bus. And, phew, you’ll never have to tackle calculus again. You’ve been accepted into the college of your dreams and you’re ready to take control of your future. There’s just one problem. Should you take on part time work while you’re going to college?

how to master college with a part time job

This question can pose quite a conundrum. After all, there are benefits and problems associated with juggling both college and work commitments. According to a 2013 survey conducted by Seventeen Magazine, roughly 80% of all college students work while attending school–proving that it can be done–but this does not mean that it is the right decision for you. That’s why it is important that you thoroughly examine the pros and cons before sending out a pile of resumes.

The Pros of Part Time Work

The Paycheck: The most obvious benefit of part time work is the financial perks. Not only will you be better able to deviate from the college diet of ramen noodles and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, but your job will also help you avoid amassing a heap of student debt. Tuition, books, living expenses, and partaking in the fun stuff associated with college life can add up–and your student job can prevent you from needing to borrow further.

The Skills: Working at a part-time job will also provide you with a valuable collection of skills–even if your employment is totally unrelated to your field of study. Time management, people skills, multi-tasking, teamwork, and organizational abilities are all transferable job skills that employers are looking for. This work experience will also enable you to build up your resume.

The Networking: You can never know too many people, Not only will your part-time job provide with the opportunity to make new friends, interact with the public, and socialize outside of your college circle, but it will also enable you to network and make valuable contacts in the world of work.

Part Time Work Cons

Study Time: Juggling academic commitments and workplace responsibilities can get tricky–leading to ailing grades and unmanageable levels of stress.

Fun Time: Your part time work will likely interfere with some of the social activities associated with campus life. As a result, you may find yourself feeling left out of things buy levitra in south africa that your friends are free to attend.

Lack of Sleep: A night-time job and early morning classes can equate to sleep deprivation. This mental fog could impact your grades and make you more susceptible to illness.

Part Time Work Tips

If you have weighed the pros and the cons and have determined that juggling college and part time work is not for you, here are some ways to manage your finances even when they are slim. And, if you have decided to give part time work a try, here are a few tips that might prove helpful.

Determine your needs. You have chosen to work for a reason, so it is important to seek a part-time job that will meet your needs. If you are working for monetary reasons, calculate how many hours you will require to make ends meet. If you are working in order to network, try to find a job that will enable you to meet people in your chosen field. Do you simply want to have some fun outside of school? If so, look for a job that you will enjoy without piling on extra stress.

Consider your schedule. Remember that school is your number one priority. If your work commitments are causing you to miss classes, assignment deadlines, or are simply draining your brain too much to concentrate on school, you may need to reconsider your employment and find something more flexible.

Examine On-Line Degree Options. If you are in a financial situation where you need to work more than 15-20 hours per week, you may wish to consider pursuing an On-line Degree. This will provide much greater time flexibility and cut down on expenses such as travel, clothing, and meals out.

It is also important to keep in mind that people and college programs are all different. Your program may be too labor-intensive to permit you to work–even at a part-time job. And some people are better able to cope with stress than others. Be sure to consider your own personal characteristics and your particular course’s expectations before reaching a decision.

No matter what you decide, the fact remains. Your future is now in your own hands. So take charge and do what’s best for you.

What are the biggest challenges of juggling a job and school? How do you make part time work?

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I am a freelance writer, avid blogger, illustrator, and aspiring novelist who thinks the world is a terribly funny place filled with bizarre things to observe--and, of course, comment on. You can follow her somewhat neurotic and OCD ramblings at The Embiggens Project and at Searching for Barry Weiss.

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