On-campus jobs help financially and socially
Last month during freshman parents’ orientation day at my son's university, a group of upper classmen were recruited to answer questions that some parents might have. One mother asked, “Is getting a job was wise for a freshman?” The bottom line according to one junior was, “jobs help students financially and socially.”
Yet this student and most of the others agreed that during their first semester, incoming students need to get used to the campus and rigors of academic life before entertaining thoughts of employment.
To help offset the increasing tuition, textbook costs, and more, this particular campus offers literally thousands of jobs. According to one student, “the money was great, but it also allowed me to meet new friends” and kept her “connected to student life.” At the least, these campus jobs offer minimum wage. At best they also offer promotions, which increase the pay.
One of the questions I posed was, “what about class schedules and finals? Isn't it too stressful?” The students’ response was that generally, employers work around the student's class schedules. For example, during finals, they would redo the schedule. If a kid has a final on Thursday they won't make him/her work on Wednesday night. I also asked about what type of on-campus jobs were available to incoming freshmen. At my son’s soon-to-be college, the list consisted of jobs at the residence hall, custodial positions, and jobs in the cafeterias – it even included event security and paid and non-paid internships.
With college costs soaring and competition for scholarships increasing, my wife and I have given the go-ahead for our son to pursue a very, very part-time job during his second semester. That is, provided the academic load from the first semester hasn't slammed him too hard!