By Jacob Lang, University of Missouri
As all students know, the college experience isn’t cheap. Paying thousands of dollars in tuition is one thing, but when you add in costs for rent, food and social life, students end up dropping quite a bit of cash.
Many students find it beneficial to get a part-time job while in school to help pay some expenses. I fall into that category.
I have worked a lot of different jobs throughout my time in college. My freshman year, I worked as a referee for intramural flag football. Later on, I started working security at a local bar. I spent my summers working — scheduling appointments for car repairs in a call center, and I boxed and shipped items at a local UPS Store. Many of my friends have also worked in the retail and food industries.
A common theme arose throughout my college work experience: work is not much fun.
Most of that was due to the fact that I worked a lot of boring jobs. Getting yelled at by amateur athletes who took intramurals way too seriously was clearly a waste of my time. Cleaning dirty bar room floors until 4 a.m. is not appealing. I found myself constantly thinking about the amount of time I spent at work when I could have been doing other things.
When it boils down to it, though, the time I spent at work was beneficial. The reason we work is to earn that paycheck. No matter how much I hated what I was doing at work, it all seemed worth it in the end because I had earned the money I got paid.
Now imagine the satisfaction you get on payday while actually enjoying the work you do to earn it. I want to offer a little bit of advice to make your work experience easier and more enjoyable.
The best thing I did to earn money while in school was getting a job that benefits my interests. I started working for the news station my junior year. As a broadcast student, doing work that gave me both experience for the future and money to spend was a win-win.
At the University of Missouri, we are extremely blessed to have a fully-functioning, NBC affiliate station to earn work experience. We also get some great opportunities to make money while working newsroom jobs, such as being a production assistant and working the news desk.
Having a job that holds your interest is essential to your productivity. It keeps you on top of tasks while you are working. Being happier while at work also carries over in your day-to-day life, making it easier to stay on top of your schoolwork and manage your time to do things that you enjoy outside of school.
Other industries also have opportunities to have part-time work that benefits your interests. Students studying science and math can fine-tune their craft by tutoring other students for money. Getting sales experience in a retail setting can benefit business students who are looking to go down that career path. The list goes on and on.
My main piece of advice is to find a job that can better you on more than one level. It can make you happier and more productive in all facets of life. The sweet feeling of payday will be that much better when you are proud of the work you did to earn it.
Lang is a broadcast student at the University of Missouri.