Paying for CollegeTeen Jobs

Earning Cash On Campus

Whether you need to pay the bills or just want to have a little extra spending money, snagging a campus job is often the best way to rack up cash. While it might be a big adjustment at first, it’s definitely possible to rock a part-time campus job and still have time for school.

BY: Amanda Cross

Whether you need to pay the bills or just want to have a little extra spending money, snagging a campus job is often the best way to rack up cash. While it might be a big adjustment at first, it’s definitely possible to rock a part-time campus job and still have time for school.

Remember why you’re there. First and foremost, you are a student. You should always consider college a full-time job, no matter what. Don’t allow your campus job to interfere with your ability to get excellent grades- you won’t be working there for long if you fail out of school!

Understand expectations. Along with every job comes a set of expectations you’ll have to follow. Be sure you fully understand them before accepting a job. Here are a few questions to ask your potential employer:

  • How many hours am I expected to work per week?
  • Will I get time off for school vacations?
  • Will my schedule stay the same each week, or will it vary?
  • Can I work on school stuff during downtime?
  • What responsibilities will I have?

Keep everyone in the loop. Let your manager know what your class schedule looks like as soon as possible. If you can set your own hours, that’s even better. You should also try to keep your professors in the loop. Visit them during office hours, and show an interest in succeeding in their class. Explain to them why getting a job was necessary- they’ll probably be a little more understanding if you tell them in advance instead of waiting until your grades slip or you have to miss class.

Plan for success. You need to plan in advance if you want to balance your campus job and school. Write everything down in a planner or put it on your Google calendar- I know you say you’ll remember without writing it, but you most likely won’t. Review your schedule daily, so you always know what’s happening. If you need time off work, ask as far in advance as possible so your boss can try to accommodate you. Taking time to set up and execute those plans will help you feel more balanced while you are getting your education and working part-time.

Prepare for hard work. Going to school is akin to having a full-time job, and adding on ~20 hours of work to that schedule is going to be tough. You will need to learn balance and the art of buckling down to get things done.

Amanda is the founder of “The Happy Arkansan”, a millennial lifestyle blog focused on helping students succeed in college and in life. Amanda uses the knowledge she has obtained getting her bachelor’s and master’s degrees to help students decode academics, student involvement, and more. You can follow her on Instagram at @thehappyarkansan and check out her website: thehappyarkansan.com

So, how do you find a campus job?

  • Check the walls of the Student Center—there’s probably a bulletin board somewhere full of job flyers.
  • Check to see if your school has an online job board.
  • Ask your professors or advisors if they know of any open positions. They’re a great resource, and might even be able to put in a good word for you!

Common Campus Jobs:

  • Barista
  • Library Assistant
  • Book Store Worker
  • Research Assistant
  • Tour Guide

RA. If you’re looking to supplement your financial aid package, one great way to do so is applying to become a Resident Assistant (RA)! Most schools offer excellent compensation, ranging from a variety of scholarships to free room and board. RAs help residents adjust to campus life, inform them of events going on, and assist them in whatever they need in order to be comfortable on campus. Ask your school’s Housing Office about the RA program!

These students have been there and done that- check out what they have to say about campus jobs! 

Racheal Lunn – Foster Former Spirit Store Employee at Faulkner University

  • Responsibilities: I had to make sure the store was clean, organized, and stocked. I was also in charge of running the cash register.
  • Perks: Because the job was on campus, I could walk to work instead of driving. My bosses understood that I had school obligations, so they were willing to work with my schedule.
  • Downside: Instead of being able to wear the typical college kid uniform of leggings and sweatshirts to class every day, I actually had to be presentable for work.
  • Bottom Line: The biggest benefit is being able to schedule work around your classes.

Angelina Kim- Former Apple Employee in the Super Store at the University of Alabama; Current UPS Graphic Designer at University of Alabama

  • Responsibilities: At the Apple Store, I had to troubleshoot and solve basic technical issues for Apple products, as well as work the cash register and keep the store clean. At the UPS Store, I design projects (mostly business cards and flyers) using Adobe-based platforms.
  • Perks: The biggest perk is being able to work in between classes.
  • Downside: Sometimes I need to study, and I am not able to in between classes because of work.
  • Bottom Line: Most bosses at jobs near campus are very understanding, and the proximity to campus makes it so convenient.

Sarah Alexander – LSU School of Art Ambassador, GDSO Graphic Designer, and Student Media Graphic Designer

  • Responsibilities: I create designs, give tours to prospective students and donors, answer phone calls, take notes during project briefings, and more.
  • Perks: My job involves close interaction with professors and superiors in a family-like atmosphere. Plus, I’m doing work that will actually benefit my future career.
  • Downside: There’s a cap on student-worker wages due to lack of state funding.
  • Bottom Line: I highly recommend on-campus jobs for people who have a full class schedule and just need a little money for groceries or other necessities. The job is convenient, but it doesn’t necessarily pay well.

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