Freshman savings: Ideas for a good side job

The dog days of college – those sleepless nights cramming for exams, chugging Red Bull, eating instant noodles! We all have memories of our college years-partying all weekend, showing up too tired to class Monday morning, eating instant noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The mythos of the “broke college student” is more a reality than most think, but does it have to be that way? Doubtless, college tuition is always rising, and through financial aid can help, having a side job is a necessity for so many. Here are some of the best jobs to have as a struggling student.

Freshmen students join the campus workforce in droves

University campuses are large and provide many services, so hiring college students to fill those positions is a no-brainer. College students have plenty of opportunities to find part-time jobs on campus. In fact, when I was an undergraduate I worked at the box office collecting tickets for school plays put on by the drama department. It didn’t pay much, and I only got to work a few hours per week, but it did put some much-needed spending money in my pocket and I’m sure my parents were pleased too, as I didn’t need to call them for money as often.

Students have the opportunity to work on-campus. From fast food restaurants, coffee shop, the library, bookstore, parking patrol, teacher’s assistant, daycare facility monitor, lifeguard, RA in the dorms, even the journalism department paid editors minimum wage at 15 hours per week!

The biggest perk of being a freshman? Priority for on-campus jobs

Luckily for a freshman, they get first dibs on any on-campus job or housing. Since they are away from home and, for most, it’s their first-ever job, universities make it a point to hire them to give them real-world experience that they wouldn’t get in the real world considering they have zero job experience. Even if you don’t go to the university, maybe you can earn a job with the maid service your dorm hires.

In fact, it can be difficult to find an on-campus job if you aren’t a freshman. They get first dibs in the dorms also.

Freshman can work off-campus jobs too

Off-campus jobs may be a bit trickier to get for freshmen since many have no real-world experience and don’t have a very flexible work schedules due to attending college courses. However, many employers will work with freshmen and other college students. This is especially true of businesses near the university, as they see college students as conscientious and hard-working to juggle both work and school at such a young age.

The summer internship

Nothing beats the joy of getting into your chosen field, earning money, making new friends, and having a sense of accomplishment that you acquired a job on your own without the help or your family, friends, or anyone else. It’s a big step toward adulthood and getting your future dream job. Talk to your professors and counselors to make sure your internship will help your future career path.

Earning a college degree is not easy and it doesn’t come cheap. Knowing how to finance yourself and find a job is a part of life you should know.


Eileen O’Shanassy

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