For some students, working in college is a necessity, for others, it is simply a desire. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know the pros and cons of working while in college before agreeing to take a job. The pros and cons of working while in college depend not necessarily on the job itself but instead, on how often a student works. All the benefits of working while in school can unfortunately be reduced, if not eliminated, by the cons of working too much.
Working during college can be time consuming, stressful and bad for your right skills development. One downside to working while in college is the time spent working instead of focusing on studying. There is a potential for students to work so much that their jobs interfere with their college goals and academic progress. Studies show that working a high number of hours, especially when the employment is off campus, reduces the chances of completing a degree.
This may seem like a small thing to some of you, but naps are essential for your sanity because they are the only opportunity you have to catch up on sleep.
For instance, all that reading and homework you have isn’t going to do itself, and sometimes you won’t be able to start it until after dinner if you have work and classes all day. It can get pretty rough some nights. Commitment to a job does mean that students have less available free time. This may not be a problem if they are organized and cut down on their social lives to make time for studying, but many students tend to give in to peer pressure and sacrifice their study time instead.
There are only so many hours in the day and trying to hold down a job while studying can be extremely tiring. In particular, around exam time employers may be reluctant to let students have time off and, since they don’t want to lose their jobs, they work and therefore get tired, stressed and behind with their studies. In time, this may be too much for students to take and stress may cause them to burn out. College is a stressful time for many people.
There is always so much work and so many things to do that it is sometimes difficult to relax. Having a college job can add greatly to this workload, causing unnecessary stress. The second disadvantage is that working usually distracts people from studying, which decrease their opportunities to gain valuable study skills useful for the future. In fact, college curriculum is challenging. College professors give complex long-term projects, which require doing research, writing papers or delivering speeches. Teachers often assign these projects to groups of students who may have to meet after school to complete their assignments. Working students aren’t able to collaborate with classmates as much with restricted schedules, and often cannot manage to complete even short homework assignments because they return home too tired to study well. As a result, their grades likely drop, threatening their chances of getting good marks from teachers.
Also, the jobs taken by students may not be applicable to their future careers. Specifically, many student jobs are in retail or something completely irrelevant to what they eventually want to do with their careers. This can be counter-productive; especially if the time spent working affects grades. For example, if the student studies medicine and during college he works in the cinema selling popcorn, finishing the shifts late at night, his job will surely affect his school performance and he won’t get any useful skills for his future jobs. Moreover, future employers ideally want someone with relevant experience and good qualifications. In addition, students might work part-time, minimum wage jobs that any high school junior could get, which doesn’t impress the human resources manager considering them for that first job requiring a college degree. Whether or not to work while in college has to be a personal choice. Think about your time, your skills and weigh both the pros and cons before making a decision.