Dear Digital Student,
I’m an incoming college freshman about to start school in the fall. I’m holding my own and am looking for ways to make money. What are some reasonable jobs for college students?
Will work for food
Dear incoming freshman,
First of all, congratulations on your acceptances to school! There are several jobs you can look for once you get on campus. Some of the best jobs don’t require too much work, and they will make you some easy money. Here are a list of my favorites that don’t require you to venture far from campus.
Desk Attendant: Some schools allow student security guards to watch students enter and leave dorms and other campus buildings. Depending on the job description, you may have to sign guests in and out or disallow non-residents entirely. During the hours that aren’t that busy, you can even do your homework. It’s also a great way to meet new people.
Resident Assistant: This probably isn’t an option for an incoming freshman, but an RA usually gets offered free housing in return for leading a group of students residing in the same dorm (usually assigned per floor or per building). Resident assistants get pretty sweet digs and are required to hold monthly meetings with their residents. They also enforce the rules and offer a helping hand to students looking for guidance.
Babysitter: Face it, babysitting is a commodity to many working parents and it also pays a lot better per hour than on-campus jobs. Many college work programs have lists filled with parents who are looking for a mature college student to take care of their kids while they go out. And in reality, most of these kids go to bed early, giving you more time for homework.
Library Assistant: The college libraries are begging for students to help take care of book check out, audio/video systems, computer access, and the copy machines. There are a lot of positions and some good experience to be had.
Computer Lab Technician: Computer-savvy students will be happy to know that there are a variety of computer-related positions in on-campus labs and in college dormitories. Labs always need technicians during their open hours to troubleshoot problems with monitors, printers, and other peripherals. Many colleges also offer a “residential network” program, also known as ResNet, where students can get help from fellow students on computer network troubleshooting issues (wired or wireless) at any time of the day. All you need is to make an appointment.
Working alongside your professor: These individuals are also known as Teaching Assistants and get some incredible exposure on specific areas of study. You’ll often hold office hours, grade papers, and offer academic guidance on a specific course. You’ll also establish a relationship with a professor, which can open some huge doors for you. If anything, this is the job you want to put on your resume, especially if you’re headed up the graduate school route.
Internships: The other route is to take a paid internship in an area that you are interested in pursuing post-graduation. This is also a great way to build experience and pad your resume. Internships are a great option for financial aid and give you hands-on experience in a field — often well before your peers.
What jobs have you held during college?
What’s your mission? What do you want from your life? As soon as you determine the answer, you can get started on setting goals for the ultimate college achievements.
Let’s outline what you need to do to get started. Ask yourself these questions:
What are my values?
What interests me?
Your values are the most important things to you such as principles and beliefs. Is it family? The desire to pursue medicine? You already should have a few strong ideas in your mind. Similarly, look at what you enjoy doing. Look at the skills you’ve gained both inside and outside the classroom, including part time work experience. Make the connection between these experiences and your core beliefs.
Now start setting goals. Write down reasonable goals that both work for the short-term and long-term. Take a piece of paper and write all the steps required to reach that goal, from start to finish. Keep reviewing your actions to keep yourself motivated.
Finally, do some research: what do you want to be when you grow up? Or, if you don’t know, what is your dream job? Learn how people with your job got to where they are: learn what skills are necessary, what the salary is, the work conditions, and anything related to the job at hand. Can you envision yourself in that position? If so, you have just set for yourself a goal.
Remember, life is worth living, so enjoy it too while you’re aiming for the stars.