As my son prepares to move into the dorm and start his freshman year of college, he looked on the university’s job board and applied for a job in their IT department. He’s had a part-time job for a few years while in high school, so it just felt natural to look for a job while in college. It would give him the ability to earn some spending money and to contribute to the cost of his college education. But while he’s waited to hear back from the IT department, he started second guessing whether working was a good idea. He wondered if taking a full load of college level classes and starting a new job would be too much. That also made me start wondering, should college freshmen have a job?
Reasons College Freshmen Should Have A Job
- Meet New People: College freshmen are looking to make new friends. Some people have a hard time doing that on their own, but a job forces people together. Getting a job in an area that interests you also means you may meet people with similar interests.
- Make Money: College is expensive, and college students need money. It’s really that simple.
- Experience: If a college student can get experience in a job that is anywhere near their field of study, it can be put on their resume to help give them a better shot at their first post-graduation job.
Reasons College Freshmen Should Not Have A Job
- College Classes Are Harder: College classes move quicker, cover more material, and are more challenging than high school classes. Students will find themselves spending a lot more time studying once they enter college.
- Need To Develop Time Management Skills: For many college freshmen, it is the first time they’ve had to worry about doing their own laundry, taking care of car maintenance and other life tasks that have previously been done by their parents. Between these tasks and the increased time studying, college freshmen may underestimate the time they have available to work.
- Retaking Classes Costs Money: Should a college freshman take on more than they can handle, they could end up not performing up to their potential academically. A less than stellar GPA can hinder future job hunting, and retaking those classes to get a better grade will add to the cost of an already expensive education.
The reasons college freshman should not work really boil down to getting used to a new environment and ensuring they are academically successful. Some may not have a choice and need to work immediately. But if a student has the choice, they may be wise to take the first semester or even the first year of college to learn to navigate college life before taking on a job.
How about you, Clever Friends, do you think college freshmen should have a job?