I’m a full time college student that also works usually 20+ hours a week at my local grocery store.
I work up to 40 hours on breaks. Yes, sometimes I get stressed out when it comes to fitting tests and papers around work shifts, but I couldn’t imagine doing it any differently. Here’s why.
1. This is one of the most expensive times of your life.
If there is a time when you need to be making serious dough, it’s now. Unless you have plenty of scholarships and financial aid, then you have hefty bills coming your way. Even if your parents are paying them, those bills are still directed towards you. Which leads to…
2. If your parents are paying, you owe it to them to at least be doing something job wise.
I can tell you right now, if I have kids and choose to pay for some of their education, it’s still on them to put effort into getting scholarships. I also would expect them to hold a job. Your parents do not want to financially support you forever. You owe it to them to start becoming more financially dependent if you can.
3. Having a job really isn’t that hard.
Picking up a part-time job sounds like a big responsibility, but you might only have to work 12 hours a week. That is the weekly minimum at my grocery store, but you might find a place that lets you work as little as 10. That’s just two days of commitment right there.
Also, for most entry level jobs, you are given a uniform. You just have to supply the pants and shoes (and sometimes not even that.) Many companies give you paid training and are willing to work around your busy school schedule.
4. It’s great to have work experience before you graduate.
If you worked in human resources for the company you are applying for, would you be excited about an applicant with no experience? Absolutely not. If you do end up going in with no work experience out of college, you’re going to have to highlight your credibility and reliability in creative ways. However, if you’ve been working for the same store for a year or more, that work experience can speak for you.
On top of that, I could imagine it would be very difficult to act in a professional matter and perform successfully at a job out of college when you’ve never had one. If you’re lucky enough to land a good position out of college, the expectations for you will be high. No matter how much advice you get or stories you hear, you do not really know what it’s like to have a job until you do. Your first job teaches you a lot.
5. You do have the time for a job.
The most widely used excuse is that a full-time student doesn’t have the time to work and devote enough of their schedule to studying. That’s just not true. As I said before, you can choose to work a small amount of hours. Honestly without a job I would feel like I have way too much time on my hands.
6. A job keeps you productive and can be beneficial to your mental health.
Many people focus on the negative sides of working, like work related stress. However, for me, working has been a great way to keep me on track. I find that when I’m not working or at school I can be very unproductive. The structure is very helpful. In short, work makes me get up and be with people when I may have chosen to sit around and overthink.
7. Lastly, you’re out of high school and need to grow up.
Adults work. If they aren’t working then they are retired, disabled, or relying on someone else to work. You’re 18+ now. It’s time for you to either fully become financially dependent or at least start. You have the physical and mental capacity to make money on your own. Why are you still letting someone else pull the weight?
There are some exceptions to this, but if you are in college, I believe you need to be working too. If you aren’t, then you are either building up hefty loans or relying on someone to pay your bills for you. College students are also adults who need to be becoming financially dependent and knowledgeable about the working world.