The traditional college experience is one of the most unique times in a person’s life. Many consider it the bridge between adolescence and adulthood. Those who seem to make the most out of their time realize all of the flexibility in schedule allows for personal growth, new life experiences, and getting ahead in building marketable skills.
For others who do not have complete financial support, it is the time to make ends meet. After all, “adulting” catches up with this group of students quickly. There are bills like tuition, room and board, and other general living expenses to cover. For those in this group who must power themselves financially through school, there are still opportunities outside the classroom for growth and new experiences.
Let’s break this down.
Many college students matriculate with at least one set of marketable skills. These could range from website building and social media expertise, to lawn care, all the way to aerobics/fitness instruction. These are the low hanging fruit, and will likely serve as a base for at least part time work. There’s one important little fact that usually separates the low earners from the higher earners: job seekers for work in website/social media/computer tech, and fitness usually stand out if they already have certifications. The opportunity for those who need work is that those who are fully financially supported are not incentivized to do more school while they’re already in school. Go get the certifications, and go get the jobs.
The next group of jobs are more tailored to the career path the student intends to pursue. These are the entry level, part time jobs, which are typically not glamorous, but they get you in the game. Fetching coffee, organizing for meetings and presentations, and other seemingly menial tasks are actually crucial to running an office environment efficiently. Much learning happens in these environments via “osmosis”, and not just a few higher skilled jobs have awaited those upon graduation who perform well. Choose a well-respected and well-run company where you could envision a future there or at a similar firm elsewhere.
The last group of jobs are those which may have nothing to do with your career path, but pay well, have flexibility, and allow you to work in an industry in which you’ve never before participated. If your studies focus on the sciences or engineering worlds, you may find it enriching to do a marketing or more creative job. If you’re musically inclined, join a group and gig out.
Whatever you choose to do, be a good steward of your time. Whether a college student an adult, time is your greatest asset.