The 'Wins' and 'Fails' of Bartending in College

The 'Wins' and 'Fails' of Bartending in College

It's not all peach schnapps and tequila sunrises

One thing many college students have gotten used to is juggling 12-18 credits, extra curriculars, a part time job, and even an internship. The service industry is a tricky business to get into, but so many college students love the fast cash, flexible hours, and are young and spritely enough to handle the running around. But there are pros and cons in the service industry, especially bartending.

Although bartending is usually portrayed as a glamorous and fun job, and many pay hundreds for mixology school, it does have its downsides. Here are the best and worst of bartending as a college student.

Win: Tips!

Of course, one of the most obvious pros to bartending is that you make your money through tips. Although you don't get paid a good wage, on busy nights in a high volume restaurant, tips can be pretty good. Plus who doesn't like cold hard cash?

Fail: Physically demanding, hard work

Okay so I'm not going to say that bartending is the hardest job ever or that its rocket science or anything-- but it can be pretty difficult. Not only are you up on your feet all day or night, but you are running around trying to remember the 5+ different things that have to get done RIGHT NOW. On busy nights, you can have 3-4 bartenders and 50-60 people at the bar, each one only concerned with what they want, and not keeping in mind that you're a human being with only two hands.

Win: Meeting New People

One of my favorite things about this job is the fact that when I'm not running around like a crazy person, I actually get to talk to people. I meet new people every single day, and then we also have our bar regulars that you get to catch up with once or twice a week. Plus, at the end of a long day of work, the bartender is like, everyone's favorite person.

Fail: People can be so rude.

On the flip side of the "meeting new people can be great" coin, people can be horrible. As a bartender at a restaurant, I have been vilified over things that aren't my fault at all, or simple mistakes I've made. I've had people scream in my face because their food wasn't out yet, or snap their fingers and wave me down while I'm clearly trying to help another guest. Seriously, people have made me cry when I first got into the service industry. You definitely have to have thick skin.

Win: It can be fast paced and fun.

As crazy as things get, I love my job. I love the stress and the frenzy of what I do, and it sure does make time fly by.

Fail: Sometimes, you have to get down and dirty.

Let me explain-- working in a bar in a restaurant, there is opportunity at every corner to get dirty. I've had kegs explode on me, taps spurt out beer all over me, sangria spill down my shirt, and food stain my clothes. Plus who do you think cleans the bar at the end of the night when everyone goes home? Definitely not the most glamorous part of my job.

Win: Making Instagram worthy cocktails

Nothing beats the feeling of making a drink that not only tastes good, but also LOOKS delectable, and watching a bar guest whip out their phone and take a picture for Snapchat.

Fail: Cuts and Lemon Juice

A paper cut on your hand may feel like no big deal, until you get lemon juice or vodka in it... And you just have to push through because-- those tips girl.

Win: Getting to try new things

Becoming a bartender not long after I turned 21, most of what I know about beer, liquor, and wine comes from my job. I've learned what red wines I like, how to make a damn good old fashioned, and the pros and cons of being a Cosmo girl.

Fail: Late nights and early mornings... And holidays

Luckily, working for corporate, the bar is only open until 10 on weekdays and 11 on weekends, so I'm usually out by 12:30 at the latest. The bad part is coming in at 9:30am to prep the bar for the day. And people who work at nightlife bars don't get out until after 2am.

Plus working New Year Day at 9:30 after ringing in the New Year... all night long... not the most fun.

Win: Compliments!

Behind the bar, I get compliments all the time, from my hair and makeup, to my eyes and complexion-- from men and women alike. It can be a nice confidence boost, to be honest!

Fail: Being hit on.

The downside to compliments, is sometimes people take it too far. When I get hit on, unfortunately it usually isn't the really hot guy that just sat down at the bar. I've had men old enough to be my grandfather ask to take me home, and guys give me their number who didn't know when to leave well enough alone. Luckily, I have amazing coworkers who will pretend to be my boyfriend if need be, or walk me to my car if someone is just a little too sketch.

So there you have it. Even with its ups and downs, I couldn't imagine working in any other industry to pay my way through my undergrad adventures.

Cover Image Credit: The Doctor's Office

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25 Secret Dairy Queen Treats

Order like an expert.

Flurries and soft serve cones from other ice cream chains can’t compete with the delicious treats served at Dairy Queen. DQ is the perfect place to stop after a family dinner, on a date, or on your way home from work; essentially, there’s never a bad time to eat ice cream. And Dairy Queen has been serving loyal customers for over 75 years, so they know what they’re doing. Blizzard flavors and specialty treats have come and gone over the past decades, but some still exist on the Dairy Queen secret menu. Although not displayed on the menu boards, these items can still be ordered and created just for you. If you’d like one, don’t hesitate to ask!

Secret Blizzard Flavors

1. Banana Creme Pie

Ingredients: sliced banana, pie pieces, and whipped cream

2. Cappuccino Heath

Ingredients: chocolate syrup, coffee concentrate, and Heath

3. Caramel Delight Pie

Ingredients: caramel, choco chunks, and pie pieces

4. Choco Cherry Love

Ingredients: cherry topping and choco chunks

5. Chocolate Chip

Ingredients: a ladle of chocolate cone coating

6. Chocolate Covered Cheesecake

Ingredients: cheesecake pieces, cocoa fudge, and choco chunks

7. Choco Covered Strawberry

Ingredients: strawberries and choco chunks

8. Choco Peanut Butter Brownie

Ingredients: choco chunks, brownie pieces, and peanut butter topping

9. French Silk Pie

Ingredients: pie pieces, choco chunks, cocoa fudge, and whipped cream

10. Georgia Mud Fudge

Ingredients: brownie pieces, cocoa fudge,

11. German Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients: brownie pieces, coconut, pecans, and caramel

12. Mint Chocolate Chip

Ingredients: mint and choco chunks

13. Mocha Chip

Ingredients: coffee concentrate and choco chunks

14. Ooey Gooey Caramel Brownie

Ingredients: caramel, brownie pieces, and choco chunks

15. Oreo Brownie Earthquake

Ingredients: brownie pieces, Oreo cookie pieces, hot fudge, and marshmallow topping

16. Cookie Jar

Ingredients: chocolate chip cookie dough, hot fudge, and Oreo cookie pieces

17. Peanut Butter Butterfinger

Ingredients: Butterfinger and peanut butter topping

18. Strawberry Banana

Ingredients: strawberries and sliced banana

19. Tripleberry Brownie

Ingredients: Tripleberry (from Julius station), brownie pieces, and choco chunks

20. Tropical

Ingredients: sliced banana, pecans, and coconut

Secret Royal Treats

21. Pecan Mudslide

This delicious creation can be created by putting caramel and hot fudge in a large sundae cup. Then, add the ice cream and top with more caramel and hot fudge. Finally, finish it off with some pecans.

22. Oreo Brownie Earthquake

Although DQ no longer has the sliced brownies for the classic version of the brownie earthquake, it’s still possible to make this. Start off with a round treat dish and add ice cream. Top it with hot fudge and marshmallow, and add plenty of brownie pieces and Oreo cookie pieces. Lastly, garnish it with whipped cream!

23. Peanut Butter Bash

Start off with a large sundae cup and pump peanut butter topping and hot fudge into it. Then, add ice cream and top with more peanut butter and hot fudge. Spoon some choco chunks on top, and it’s finished.

Secret Drinks

24. Arctic Rush Freezes

This is just your favorite Arctic Rush with ice cream. You can choose to have the ice cream blended or have the Arctic Rush served with ice cream floating in it!

25. Frozen Hot Chocolate

This can be easily made by filling a clear cup to the red line with Arctic Rush base. Then, add cocoa fudge and the desired flavor (Double Fudge, Caramel, or Peanut Butter). Fill the cup with ice cream and blend. Garnish with whipped cream, and you have a frozen hot chocolate!

Now that you’re a DQ expert, go ahead and order your favorite secret menu treat! Be aware, however, that toppings and candies may vary by location.

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A General guide to a perfect cup of coffee

Making that cup is half the experience. Don't miss out.


A good cup of coffee is a treat in and of itself. The rich and earthy aroma of freshly ground beans when you wake up is a delight to the senses. Now I am not what you would call a coffee connoisseur, but like any other person, I am very particular about the coffee I drink… so much so that I had a Nespresso pod machine with me as I began my first year of college.

Now, most coffee aficionados would tell you coffee pods are a disgrace to the beverage and I agree. They don't capture the essence of the bean, the texture, or quality. But they are drastically better than instant coffee! Now that is horrendous. The coffee pod is a decent, minimally acceptable substitute. But I implore any coffee lover, to step out of Starbucks (that most definitely isn't good coffee) and quaint coffee parlors, and actually make an effort to learn about the beverage you consume and are delighted by.

I will be honest, I was never a coffee fan. I barely drank it to stay awake. Highly caffeinated tea was my poison of choice for late nights. My interest in what makes a good cup of coffee and my, let's say, pickiness when it comes to drinking it stems from my father's journey in making the perfect espresso, latte, ristretto etc…

Every process to make that perfect cup is crucial so let me paint a picture. Imagine freshly picked coffee beans sent in for processing and roasted at a range where it doesn't get burnt nor is it too blonde, a warm brown with undertones of red comes to my mind. For optimal extraction of the oils, the beans have to be used within 2 weeks of being roasted (so do not buy the beans from Starbucks usually). Instead of getting it grounded ahead of time feel as you grind the beans to the size you want because powder size plays a huge role in the bitterness and the very drip of the coffee. Finding the correct size powder is a crucial element to customize your coffee for your palate.

After the powder size has been recognized, a pressurized system lets the water seep through the powder. Whether it be an Aeropress because of its cheaper price tag and the opportunities for customizing it or a good old coffee machine, maintaining a good amount of pressure for the oil to be extracted is key.

Tamping is an important aspect if using a regular coffee machine, since it again determines the drip speed and bitterness as it packs the powder into compact form, allowing for maximum oil extraction for the espresso. And you can determine if the effort was worth it as you look at the thick creamy creamer on top of your espresso shot and breath in what should be a full-bodied and earthy scent.

If you are an avid coffee drinker, I ask you to give making your own coffee from scratch. If you don't like coffee, well, try making it your own. You might like it for all you know.

-Sincerely A Coffee Enthusiast

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