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re: Campus Jobs/Working during college

Campus Jobs/Working during college

What is your opinion on a student having a campus job (or part time job during college)?

Ds will start college this fall, and my husband thinks he should get a campus job right away. Even if it's like less than 10 hours a week. He thinks he can earn gas money, and maybe meet some new people by working.

I feel like he should wait...at least a semester or two...maybe a year? Until he gets used to college. Give him time to get used to the routine, and get a feel for the college academics work load. I think it's going to be overwhelming enough without throwing in a job.

Plus, he will commute. He will drive 25-30 minutes each way. His first class is at 9am. He has about a 2 hour break each day where he will stay on campus, and then his last classes are around 2-3 pm (I can't remember specifically off the top of my head).

So, what are your thoughts and experiences?

I think I will post this on chit-chat, too. Since some of our veteran hs moms might see it there more easily.

re: Campus Jobs/Working during college

I worked about 10 hours during the college semester; however -- I think this makes a huge difference compared to your son -- I lived on campus, not necessitating any commute whatsoever, and my job was also right there on campus. Had I needed to factor in commute time and get-to-work and get-back-to-campus time, my studies would surely have been affected.

The job, too, is a factor. What kind of job it is, whether it requires shift changes, whether it requires weekend hours and overtime, and whether it is demanding (using up energies that would otherwise go to academics), are factors, in my opinion.

re: Campus Jobs/Working during college

So, what are your thoughts and experiences?

context: My oldest is going into her senior year at college.
Her freshman year she was commuter student for first semester. But the reality became that she needed to live on campus. She wasn't coming home until quite late and the benefits of commuting well.. oh well. it was stressful even if less cost of money. So we coughed the lung (figuratively) and in the dorm she went.

Her first semester, she was working help desk for the IT department at her college. Job was about 5 hours a week. and was listed as "work study" in terms of financial aid package. They are kinda cautious on first semester full time students on how many hours to work. She was taking a full load with 18 credits. Her campus work study job was worked in during a time that fit her schedule and it was a position shared with several students to cover the phones and such.
Second semester was similar. That job was fun for her and in some ways provided a nice break between classes when really she wasn't going to get much studying done.

sophomore year, she actually had two campus jobs. that same help desk thing and then she picked up some tutoring thing at the math center or something? maybe the dorm? But by then she was on campus in the dorms, so the evening tutoring was nice.

Our experience may not reflect the way your son's college does it. My dd's college tries to get students campus jobs that are somewhat interesting to them and have them apply with uploaded resumed and go through the interview process (they're getting the job, but it's process to practice). not that long ago, it was more common that financial aid office was in charge of it "oh, work study eligible. go to the library and shelf books. next... you pick up trash..... next...."

but now they really try to get them in some department that may match their major in some connection. oh, going into computer science, go work at IT dept and do their odd jobs.

By her junior year, oldest was working off campus in a company that gets interns from the local colleges. It's in her field. She has to work the hours around her full course load and drive to get there. Those are all afternoon on days without engineering labs.

So, advice on should you get campus job right away in first semester? Some students find it is better to wait until fall break.Others, like my oldest, did better with it in place from the get go.
I'd encourage you to encourage your son to plan to get a campus job at some point in first semester if possible (assuming all goes well) or definitely by second semester. I'd keep it on campus if possible because it will be the most flexible in hours and such to accommodate full time students.

Also, he might be able to fit it in after the final class each day.

I know I had the odd expectation that first semester that my daughter would be off campus and back home by around supper, or maybe 8-9 pm or so. I mean lots of my friends' kiddos did it that way with the big state school in town, why shouldn't that be my story with my kid at the small private college? meh. live and learn.

This post was edited on Jun 19, 2017 11:17 AM

re: Campus Jobs/Working during college

and a bit more to add for other context

for context related to that:
my daughter is in super rigorous course work (3 related majors: electrical engineering, computer science, math), and the degree needs 140 semester credits (or is 146?) so she has to take summer courses in two summers to complete that much in 4 calendar years. (most majors are 120 semester credits. aye aye aye!)

She's also working her internship for about 20 ish hours a week this summer while taking summer courses.

during regular spring and fall semesters, the internship was 8-10 hours a week and it was paid and also listed as credit in elective toward major. (and she was doing some paid dorm tutoring as well, but that was 5 hours a week in the evening on campus)

Part of this has to factor in location, driving times, and more. My daughter built up to being able to do two different paid jobs. She did not start out first semester able to handle that much.

Not everyone can do as much as she does. So I don't want original poster to think her son needs to duplicate. or to try to do it all in first semester. Sometimes a simple campus job of 5 -8 hours a week is all that is needed to get the benefits of a small amount of cash available and work experience, and other benefits of hard work to take it seriously to go to class.

re: Campus Jobs/Working during college

Thank you M4J and Cbollin!

It really helps me to read your insights. I put a longer response on the chit chat side. :)

This post was edited on Jun 19, 2017 09:00 PM

re: re: Campus Jobs/Working during college

This is 100 eons ago but my courseload was easy for me and a campus job would have probably kept me out of trouble and put me in the way of some good adults as well as maybe more serious students than I happened to be housed with. :) just a thought.

re: re: Campus Jobs/Working during college

Thanks, Calming Tea!

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