We all know that college drains your time and bank account. We need jobs, but do we have the time, energy or know-how as a student? Here are some tips that I’ve gained through experience as a full-time student working at OU that can hopefully be helpful to you.
1. Work on campus
Don’t know where to start when looking for a job in college? That’s understandable. Jobs are not only hard to have, but are also hard to find. Where do you start? Well, that’s an easy answer: on campus. Working on campus is a great way for students to contribute to the university while being able to contribute to your bank account.
“How do I find campus jobs?” you ask. Well, OU has a great website for both students and non-students who are looking to work at OU. Jobs.ou.edu is a great tool to use that has a variety of on-campus jobs. As a user of this website I have been able to find jobs for the past two years ranging from working with food services to being a web marketing intern for OU Web Communications. On-campus jobs are a great way to meet adults at the university along with being able to interact with students your age who are going through the same thing you are.
2. You won’t miss out by making small sacrifices
When students think about working during college, most have hesitation because the thought of “missing out” is terrifying to college students. I will admit that I was once one of these students, but quickly learned that I was not missing out at all. I actually feel that I am getting to experience more working as a student than I would be without.
Yes, there are some small sacrifices I had to make to be more successful as a student and employee, but these sacrifices are well worth it. Instead of going out on the town for the night, get together with friends and hang out with movies or GTA (or Grand Theft Auto, for those who aren’t down with video games). While doing this, you can casually do homework and be more productive than you would’ve been if you would have left the house. You don’t have to lock yourself in the library in your time off of work, but use the time you have to multitask. It’s fun.
3. Be an intern
You’ve heard time and time again that internships lead to a career in the future. Well, this is true! Not only is that the case, interning is one of the most flexible jobs for students. They know what being a student is like, and the effort it takes. They want to help. Not only do internships give you experience, connections and sometimes money, they also give you an opportunity to feel out potential careers for the future.
The best advice I have received about internships is do not intern for someone who only expects you to make their coffee and run errands for the office staff. How is that going to help you in the future? Making coffee is pretty self-explanatory. You should be learning through your internship how to be successful in that specific field and which areas you like and which ones you dislike. Also, interning gives you the opportunity to put what you are learning in your classes into practice. This way you stay in the school mentality causing less confusion to the crazy college brain.
4. Think money
Money money money! I don’t know about you all, but ever since I came to college I have been living the broke life. Ramon twice a week at least, trying to stock up on Pocket Points for my weekend meals and picking up every piece of change on the South Oval to cover my Sonic fund. This is the main reason for college students getting jobs. We are tired of being broke. This is what I continuously tell myself throughout the week when I question why I work.
Students say working will take away from their free time. Well, free time isn’t free, folks. How are you supposed to afford free time? Receiving a paycheck at the end of the week will allow you to do more in your free time because you will have the cash to cover it. Remember this and getting out of bed for work each day will be easier.
5. Learn to love it
Transitioning into a job can be hard for students. You have to figure out your schedule along with maintaining your schoolwork. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not always going to love your job. Think of why you are attending college. Is it not to get a job when you graduate? Well, if you had a job now you loved every single day and would be happy there for the rest of your life, then why come to college?
It’s these jobs that build our character and give us the tools we need not only in the workforce but also in everyday life. Take each day as it comes. Find a job that doesn’t make you want to drop out of school every day and learn to love it. It might be the people, the atmosphere or the customers that you feel closest to, but whatever it is, find something you can be passionate about in whatever you are doing and you will learn to love your job.