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Seeing Green: Why Working and Being a Student Doesn’t Suck

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

I’ll never forget the time, during my sophomore year of college, mid-October, when I checked my bank account online and saw I had a measly $18 and some change. I had blown through my savings on pizza and beer my freshman year, and due to my bad habit of spending my money in my head before I earned it, I didn’t have too much to spare.

I didn’t pay bills at this time, but I also didn’t have much money to feed myself or buy basic things that I needed either. My friends would call up their parents or family members and get them to wire money into their accounts when they ran low, and while I could have done that too, I didn’t WANT to. I then decided to get a job and start working while in college. For most people this would be their worst nightmare, and what I also thought was going to be a terrible decision was actually one of the best I’ve made in school. Here’s why:

Working while you’re in school helps you keep your priorities in line. I was partying way too much for my own good, and once I started working I went out less and valued the time I was able to go out more. I always got the gruffs from my friends “Why do you work so much?” “You have to work ALL weekend?” Um, yes. (I’m a waitress by the way, a job which completely sucks ass but the money is hard to beat, especially as a student).

While I did miss going out every night of the weekend, work kept me out of trouble, and taught me some valuable time management skills. When I wasn’t at work I had homework to do. Before I cut my time at work this semester because of my senior year, I worked almost 5 days a week, nearly full time and while it killed me at times, gave me a taste of the real world.

Another perk of working while in school is, hello, the money. The broke college kid stereotype still applies because I have loans and bills to pay. I’m almost financially independent (that doesn’t mean stable) from my parents, which, as a 22-year old student, is an accomplishment for me. Of course, they help me if needed out of the kindness of their hearts but I barely ask them. Earning money that I work hard for is a good feeling, and being able to pay my own bills, save up a little extra, and treat myself to something every now and then. It’s something I’ve become used to and will help me succeed post-college life.

I complain about having to go to work after class ALL. THE. TIME. Most of the time, I want to just go home and nap or even watch paint dry. But it has taught me the value of time and money, and how earning your own money can put how you spend it into perspective.

So, to all the people who are student workers, I commend you. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Thanks mom and dad for teaching me responsibility. I love you both.

21 years old, always lost, but finding meaning in life in the little things. Give me a crappy cup of coffee, a laugh and a smile and we'll be friends. Love yourself.