When I first came to college, I had no plans of working during the semester. I wanted to focus on my studies, and I didn't think I would have time to dedicate time to both work and school, and organizations I am involved in on campus.
Money was never really an issue either. I always saved enough in the summer, so I wouldn't have to work during the semester. I couldn't do anything crazy expensive, but I could still afford to go to dinner with friends or enjoy a night out every once in a while.
Each semester I used to come back and tell my roommates I was going to work just because, but school usually got too busy or my classes were too difficult, and I wouldn't be able to handle all of it. The summer before my senior year in college, I started working a lot. I was usually working a 50-60 hour work week which wasn't something I ever did before; I loved every second of it.
I didn't have much of a social life, but I did learn how much I loved money and how greedy I am. I liked being able to spend as much money as I wanted, and not having to worry about how much was in my bank account at the time. It was nice being able to do whatever I wanted.
When I came back to school, I had to cut back on my spending and save basically everything; I didn't like that.
I told my roommates I was getting a job, and that's exactly what happened. I applied to a bunch of places as soon as I got back to school and went to a few interviews. I picked up a part-time job, and at first, it was hard trying to handle everything.
After a couple weeks, I got used to it, and started finding time to do my school work, go to meetings for clubs, go to work, and still have a social life. There are some times where I fall behind because I didn't plan ahead, but it isn't impossible nor is it as bad as I thought it would be.
Having a job during the semester keeps me active (and puts a little extra cash in my pocket). If you're thinking about working during the semester, I recommend it, but don't be afraid to leave if it becomes too much. Your mental health and school work is important too.