Going Off to College? 3 Benefits of Working During School

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  • Some people don't work during college and choose to focus on their studies instead.
  • If you feel you can manage a part-time job, you might really appreciate it in the long run.

Getting a job could benefit you in more ways than one.

Back when I started college, I was determined to graduate with a decent GPA and zero credit card debt. As such, I made the decision to hold down a series of different jobs during my studies.

At times, it wasn't the easiest thing juggling school work and actual work. But in the end, I'm glad I managed to hold down a job during college. And here are some benefits you might reap if you go a similar route.

1. You can earn money

Many people graduate college deep in debt. If you're able to generate some income by working, you can minimize that debt, all the while giving yourself more spending money to better enjoy the college experience.

When I was at college, I had to limit myself to a very tight budget. But having a job opened that budget up. It made it possible to occasionally go out to dinner with friends and take day trips. And also, it made it easier to excel academically.

I know a lot of people who were short on funds during their studies who avoided buying certain books, for example, and instead forced themselves to wait on library copies. The jobs I held gave me the freedom to buy the books I needed to do my school work at my own pace, which was really helpful.

2. You can meet new people

Starting college can be overwhelming, especially if you don't know anyone. But if you get a job early on, you can meet more people and perhaps cement friendships you can then carry with you for years on end.

While there are numerous opportunities to meet people during college -- think dorm mixers, parties, and the classes you take -- there's something to be said for the experience of bonding with people in the course of a job. One of the jobs I had in college was washing dishes at a cafeteria. It was far from glamorous, to say the least. But one of the friends I met working in that grungy kitchen is someone I'm in touch with to this day.

3. You can build skills and experience to put on a resume

A lot of my friends graduated college with no work experience under their belts whatsoever. And many struggled to get even an entry-level job because of that.

Thankfully, I had lots of work experience due to the various jobs I'd taken on. And not surprisingly, it took me less time to find a job than many of my fellow graduates.

If you're willing to work during college, you'll have a prime opportunity to pad your resume. But just as importantly, you might develop skills from your job that help you present yourself as a better candidate for a full-time role down the line.

Granted, I can't say that my job as a dishwasher did much for my professional career. But working as a tutor was a very different experience.

Some people would rather spend their time at college focusing solely on their studies. There's nothing wrong with going that route. But it pays to consider the upside of working in some capacity, even if on a very part-time basis.

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