How's Work?

If you’re reading this, do not do what I was doing when I started this article: writing at midnight when you have to work the next day.

As a first year, I already started to work at the end of September. How did that happen? Well, that would take us back to the job fair at the beginning of September. I walked in Mellon Lounge with some apprehension about what job I would want to take on. There were plenty of on-campus jobs available, but a lot of them were for upperclassmen only, which would not help me. And then, there were jobs that definitely required a lot more interaction with people, so I smiled and pretended to listen to what was being said.

What job ultimately caught my interest? Well, when you see a table full of beautifully decorated cupcakes, I think it will catch your interest long enough to listen to someone’s spiel. And in the end, I could not even bring myself to ruin the lovely display of cupcakes even though I was offered one. If you could not tell, I chose to work for the campus catering service.

In all honesty, I waited a bit before taking on the job. I needed time to think about whether I wanted to take on any shifts while balancing my school life and social life. Also, I wanted to get used to being in the new environment of college before I added any more to my workload. So, by the end of September, I started my job.

But after working on-campus a few times, I have learned a lot about what to look out for as you are applying for on-campus jobs. I started working while my workload was rather light, but as classes are getting a bit more challenging, there are things to look out for.

  1. Don’t burn yourself out: I got this from my friend after taking on a couple of shifts for Homecoming Weekend. I would not recommend working 21 hours within three days while balancing out schoolwork. You have to find that happy medium. And always let people know when your shift ends. You were given a shift for a reason. By going over it, you are taking away time for yourself.
  2. Choose a job that would work with your schedule: You most likely will be able to talk this over with your supervisor before they start scheduling, but each job is different. I remember being at a table where they were asking for a student to work a specific time on Tuesdays. And while I have a roommate who is given her shifts from her supervisor, my job operates differently. I get to choose my shifts each week based on what my supervisor sends out.
  3. Choosing shifts (if you can): This goes back to the first point. You need time for yourself. You are a student, so academics should come first. Also, you need to give yourself time to rest and enjoy life too. I would recommend working mainly on weekends, but if you are working throughout the week, plan ahead based on the homework and assignments you have.
  4. Make sure you know what your job entails: This is good information to know beforehand because you have to choose something that you will at least enjoy a little. It is no fun working somewhere you have no interest in. But also, take your job as experience. Whether you will realize it or not, you will learn something from your job even if it is just working on your conversation skills.

There is a lot I could definitely say about working, but each job is different. For more information, the best person to ask is someone who works at the job you want or the supervisor.

But remember that you always have to take care of yourself first and foremost. It is great to make money, but your health is just as important. You cannot be your best self unless you take care of both your mental and physical health. Thus, good luck and best wishes!