College Freshmen: Why It’s Better to Hold Off on that Job

You will see that there are several more expenses revealed in college than there were at home with your parents. Food, school needs, more food and dorm necessities…expenses you never had to worry about before are now adding up fast. Now more aware of the expenses of life, many new students think it would be appropriate for them to get a job so they can pay for the expenses themselves.

I can understand that thought process, I mean, college students are generally considered to be adults. Having a job would make them that much more adult-like. Plus the job they had in high school was a piece of cake. If they could balance their studies and a job in high school just fine, they should be able to do it in college with ease.

The problem.

However, I have noticed a problem with students who put themselves in that situation. Many new students who are thrown into the world of adulthood are sometimes extremely overwhelmed by the transition from a high school student to a college adult. The workload required in college classes is very different than in high school and will need a lot more time set aside for studying. You can’t finish your algebra homework in biology class the day it’s due anymore. It really is a completely different learning environment.
Balancing new college classes with a job can be extremely difficult for a college student of any age. Grades will take a hit along with college social lives.

What I recommend:

Wait until you’re on top of your workload before applying for a job. At least give yourself a semester to get the hang of the new college academic format. You really don’t want to start out on the wrong foot with your grades and your professors.

Extra perks for waiting:

By giving yourself some time to become accustomed to college classes, you will be able to devote yourself one hundred percent to your studies. Your stress level will be lower and your college experience during the transition period will be much more enjoyable.

You will have more time for extracurricular activities, making your college experience way more fun, while allowing you to branch out and create networks. You will be able to meet more people and have time to establish solid friendships that will make demanding academics easier to get through as well.

Holding off on getting a job is not making you a slacker by any means. It just means you are wanting to focus only on your studies for a little bit, at least until you get the hang of things. You have to also keep in mind that any job that you get right out of high school most likely will not be related to your major of choice. Why not wait until you are more familiar with what is expected from your major as well as jobs that are closely related so you can have something nice on that résumé you will be creating soon.

Other options:

If you do find yourself low on cash, there are other options for you that don’t require you signing a contract and a five-day workweek. Campus bake sales are always fun to set up with your friends and only take an afternoon or two. Want something a little less girly? You could also try selling your extra clothes or items online or at pawnshops for some quick cash on the spot.

There are more options out there that don’t require you to fill out the W-2 form. Seriously consider those before a “real” job so you don’t have any distractions from your studies or any extra stress.

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Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She lacks the ability to draw, so she loves being able to express her creativity instead through her writing. She considers herself the “coolest nerd,” spending many Friday nights indoors playing Guitar Hero and discussing Pokemon cards with her friends.