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

Popular Right Now

How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."

I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches New Girl knows about True American. This crazy, non-sense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in Season 1 Episode 20.

The game, as described by New Girl character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

Loading video...

Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game number one: the player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game number two: the player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game number three: the player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."

Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.


You are now able to impress all of your New Girl-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit:

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

7 Healthy Foods College Students Can Eat That Aren't That Expensive

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive - it's the world telling you that.


I hear it sitting in class. I hear it on the bus. I hear it in the grocery store. "Eating healthy costs so much money."

You're right. Healthy food isn't cheap, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Your Chipotle burrito and extra queso aren't cheap either. Buying healthy food items at the store and meal-prepping is the easiest way to make healthy food cheaper, point blank. I wanted to showcase a few healthy options, along with their prices, to prove healthy options are justifiable.

1. Carrots

Organic baby carrots from Walmart are $3.40 with 10 servings. That means each serving of carrots is $0.34. Skip the $3 chip bag at the gas station and pack some carrots.

2. Bell peppers

Sweet mini peppers are SO YUMMY to snack on. They're sweet and crunchy; what more could you ask for? At Walmart, a 1 lb. bag is about $3. Yes, you can be the cool kid like me who carries around a lunch bag in college.

3. Hummus

Be careful with this one. I could eat a whole thing of hummus in one sitting, so I buy it sparingly. A container of hummus usually runs around $5, but as long as you're eating an actual serving size, it can last one to two weeks.

4. Craisins

Look for the craisins with no added sugars, or else they're bound to be loaded with sugar. These are a great snack or something to add into a trail mix or on top of oatmeal! At only $6, a bag of craisins should last you about a week and a half.

5. Fruit snacks

Again, watch the added sugars. At only $8, these come out to be about $0.25 a pack. If you can't take around an actual apple or banana, fruit snacks are the way to go.

6. Snack bars

These can get expensive. That's why you need to bulk-purchase. Snack bars are also notorious for containing too many added sugars. I always go with either KIND at $1.40 per bar or CaveMan at $1.60. MUCH better than purchasing only one at a gas station at $3-$4 a pop.

7. Veggie straws

These things are addicting, not going to lie. A bag of veggie straws with 15 servings comes out to be $0.33 per serving. Once again, if you stick with the serving size, they'll last and you'll save money.

8. Wheat thins

Wheat Thins are for grey days because they make me as happy as coffee, especially the Tomato Basil kind. With 15 servings, each serving comes out to $0.25. Want two servings? $0.50 won't break the bank.

Related Content

Facebook Comments