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As a third-year broke college student, who spends a copious amount of money on clothes, food and beverages, I am always in constant need of a steady income. Since I was fourteen, I have held a part-time job, and many of them, are mainly to fuel my clothing addiction. I have worked in retail, food service, home care, etc., all of which have given me a lot of time to learn and grow in myself. Out of all of my jobs, here is a ranked list of my extensive experience in the part-time job industry, ranked from worst to best. 

7. Retail

My first year of college, I scored a job at a local kitchen gadget store in our little college town. Although this may have been one of the easier jobs I have held, retail is not something I would like to revisit. My particular workplace had a lot of ‘regulars’ who, to say it nicely, had a very particular way of shopping, and had a very specific person they wanted helping them. Me, a 18 year old, looking to get my $8.50 and get out of there, did not quite meet their standards most of the time. Other than that, the job was pretty simple, besides the “Point of Sale” system that existed on an ancient 2008 computer. There are other more exciting part-time jobs out there, don’t settle for retail.

6. Lifeguarding

This by far was the easiest job and one I would recommend to all high schoolers to do over their summer breaks. I worked as a lifeguard for three years throughout high school and it was quite the experience. I had a lot of fun, but I chose to work at a country club, which brings a lot of interesting characters. If you are looking for a low stress, fun work environment with the occasional Karen, this is the job for you. 

5. Nannying

Nothing says making bank like a good babysitting gig. Tax-free and usually pretty lucrative, nannying was a great source of income. It comes with a lot of work and can be extremely tiring, but if you are looking to make some good money this is one of the better options. Plus, you get to do a lot of fun things with the kids that beats the alternative of sitting in your own house by yourself. 

4. Barista

I took up barista-ing in my second year in college, during the pandemic because I simply had nothing else to do. I like to keep myself busy and with virtual classes, I wanted to introduce some structure into my life. Being a barista can be very fun, and who doesn’t love free coffee? Warning, sometimes it comes with angry customers and snobby coffee connoisseurs. It wasn’t the best source of income for me personally because we didn’t make a ton of tips in a college town, but it was a good work environment and I never had to buy coffee, which saved me a lot. 

3. Hostess

I hosted for an entire summer and it was a very fun experience. I worked at the beach and took up this job along with a serving position and working in the food service industry was quite an experience. Nothing says employee drama like the food industry. Hosting at a popular restaurant that runs mainly on reservations was quite the gig, and I got to learn all about strategically placing table times. The only downside was the occasional rude regular or the regular flirtatious behavior from old men. Other than that, you could usually score a quick $20 from a desperate boyfriend trying to get a table, simply for doing your job.

2. Server

I love serving and it, by far, has made me the most money. I love talking to people so this was a great job, especially for the summer. Working in a vacation town, where people are willing to tip a little bit extra because they’re in a good mood, is key. I made over two grand in a month and a half working as a server, so it is definitely worth it. You have to be willing to mess up and spill a couple things, but you will make some great friends and take home some great stories.  

1. Flower Arranging

This is definitely the most random job I have held in my life, but one of the most fun. I do this once and a while, but I help out once or twice a year. If you love flowers, and who doesn’t, and love event planning, this is the perfect opportunity for you. It is so fun to go to weddings and showers to help set up and see how each couple plans their special day! 

These aren’t the only part-time jobs I have had and they definitely won’t be the last. I have a couple more years of fun jobs ahead of me. Don’t be afraid to try something new just to try it, you will come out of it with at least one good story!

Current Junior at PSU UP. I live right outside of DC in Bethesda, MD and I am on track to be an Advertising and Public Relations major with a minor in Business I love sitcoms, stand-up and spend my time hanging out with friends and traveling.
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