Working in a restaurant is grueling, tiring and can be awful for your sleeping patterns. But it is also one of the most fun (if you have great coworkers) and easy money-making jobs that is available to us college students.
Yes, you might be working until late into the night and you will be leaving exhausted unless you work at one of those places that close at 11. Still, you'll be tired and your legs will hurt and you've just dealt with a headache of customers unless you got lucky. But the money that you make always ends up making up for it unless it doesn't, and then you quit.
As a college student, working in the restaurant industry as a server or bartender is really the place to be.
Restaurants offer flexible working hours and are willing to work around your school schedule most of the time and you'll end up being paid more than minimum wage almost every shift if you work at a good place.
Yes, every restaurant has its negatives: late paychecks, lazy coworkers, high turnover rate, overworked staff, poor management, and horrible clientele. It's the industry, though, and if you just care about what you are walking out of the place with, then it is pretty good. You learn to build a backbone dealing with customers or the kitchen or a manager—you learn to be more secure with flirty drunks and you come out with a ton of customer service experience.
The problem is is that most college students don't really feel like giving up their weekends to work these jobs because that's when they go out. Obviously, there are people that do because they have priorities or bills to pay. When people come up to me asking how I can afford my life, well, this is what I have to thank for it.
Servers are known to spend their money when they get it and let the money they just pocketed for the night burn, but you can really save a lot of money if you try to, which is what I've always tried to do. I've always just tried to be ahead of myself on the game so that I won't have to worry about money when it comes to wanting to do something and that's what the restaurant industry has allowed me to do.
I've been able to buy a car, move out, travel, and stay in school all due to working in the restaurant industry since my early teens. I also like the restaurant industry because it really does give you the flexibility that you need: going on vacations, leaving time for midterms or finals, weddings, etc.
Of course, it isn't ideal for someone who has a family due to the late hours or not having a steady income. If you don't work, you don't make money. If you don't hustle, you don't make good money.
But that's also something that I have always liked about working in the industry: the amount of money I bring home is purely up to me. If all the other servers have said "I don't want that party of 10" because they aren't feeling it tonight, and the hosts ask me to take it, I can easily make more money.
Personally, I think this is ideal for every college student due to the flexibility and how students always complain that they're so broke and living off ramen. This is just the remedy that can put your wallet at ease and splurge on that Chipotle you've been craving without having only $4 left to your name.