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A College Student’s Guide To Summer Jobs

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

It’s that time of year! Summer is perfect for heading back to your hometown, spending some time with family, hanging out with high school friends and reminiscing about all the things you did before college, back when responsibilities were low and life was simple.

Ahhh. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, growing up and becoming an adult bears the extra weight of additional adult responsibilities. These so-called adult responsibilities will look different for different people: everyone has a different financial situation. Some college students rely on getting a job as they are financially independent, while others may not feel the need because their parents are supporting them.

Even if your parents support you financially, it’s always helpful to have money that you earned yourself, money that you have the freedom to choose how to spend. Plus, getting a summer job can pass the time and give you something to do while you are not focused on school.

Here is a list of some jobs you can look for over the summer that will generate some extra money and still allow you to have a fun summer!

Camp Counselor

I was a camp counselor for multiple summers in high school and I absolutely loved it! This is a perfect option if you enjoy working with kids, and it’s a way to meet other people your age, be active and gain some leadership skills. I will warn you, though: if you really need money, this may not be the job for you. Summer camps oftentimes don’t pay very well for the amount of work you will end up doing, but the other benefits are decent.

You will likely get meals, access to sports equipment, art supplies, swimming pools, cool niche activities and housing if you work at a sleepaway camp. Many parents will also tip you at the end of the summer. You may also gain connections for babysitting or other jobs through your campers’ parents.


If you enjoy swimming and the sun, this may be the job for you! You must be certified to be a lifeguard, but a majority of your time working will include lounging by the pool and soaking up the rays. A lot of lifeguards are high school and college kids, so you will likely meet some good friends through this job.

Food Service

Whether you work at a local ice-cream shop, a small café, a big restaurant or a corporate Starbucks like I did, you will (hopefully) get the luxury of an air-conditioned workspace and the benefit of free or discounted food. Many people will tip, and depending on the state you work in, these types of jobs can pay decently well. Waitressing or bussing will definitely pay more as they require more work and customer service interactions, resulting in tips.


Similarly to food service, the state you live in may pay pretty well for this type of job. You won’t get tipped, but if you work at your favorite clothing store, you do get the benefit of discounted clothes and you can make great coworker relationships.


Many parents work. When school is in session, they know that their children are being taken care of at school. Just because their children get to relax during the summer does not mean that parents can just take a break from work to watch them. If you don’t mind taking on parental responsibilities and you enjoy working with kids, many parents will hire college students to watch their kids while they are at work.

Paid Internships

Paid internships are perfect for college students. You get to gain some work experience in your desired field while also getting paid for it. The only downside is that these internships are usually more competitive, harder to find and require a lot of research and planning ahead of time.

Create your own business

We live in a society where the resources for independent business owners are plentiful. Social media makes it so easy to post about your products and services and contact potential clients. If you have a talent such as sewing, crocheting, painting or beading, use that to your advantage! Use your talent or hobbies to sell your art online. People love unique pieces and will pay for your hard work and talent.

Business owners are always hiring. Everyone has different skills and interests. Summer is the time to relax and have fun, but there are tons of ways to have a stable summer job that you can enjoy while taking a break from school. Just make sure you find the job that is right for you!

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Hi, My Name Is Sophie Sietz! I am a second-year International Affairs major at Florida State University. I'm from Rockland County, NY, but I love warm weather. If not writing or studying, I enjoy singing, dancing, playing the ukulele, thrifting, taking pictures, and traveling!