Student Worker
College can seem like a great opportunity to pick up a job on the side: there are plenty of options, and all your employers offer half-time because they understand that you’re juggling a full course load. Besides, those Happy Hour chicken wings and beer won’t pay for themselves. But deciding to get a student job isn’t just a no-brainer. In fact, I’m here to present the shocking possibility that you might have a few legitimate reasons not to dig up a job on the side.

Here’s the list, so overachievers can take note and slackers can justify themselves.

It Takes Time

If you want to make a reasonable amount, you need at least ten hours a week, and even that’s a lot when you’re slaving over the latest essay or speech. But student jobs don’t just take up time: they take up time with menial, pointless tasks. You may sit behind a cash register or a library call desk for hours, just watching the clock as your waking hours slip away.

You Don’t Improve Your Resume

Full disclosure: I do have a job this semester. But I’m not wasting my time with it: I’m working as a Public Relations Writing intern, a job with a title that name-drops both my majors. By spending ten hours a week typing up student bios and web releases, I’m using the skills that I came to college to learn.

How many college jobs help boost the work section of your resume? Unless you’re planning on a career in food services or as a postal worker, very few help you out. Internships are great, on the other hand, and a practically essentially way to network. It’s even better if they’re paid, but as long as a job is in the same field you’ll be searching in post-graduation, you need to take it. Ditch anything else.

You Don’t Save Much Money

A half time, minimum-wage, bare-bones college job gives you maybe a hundred and fifty dollars every two weeks. Do you want to know how much you spent for just one credit of one of your classes in that time? I don’t either, because it’s a metric butt-ton.

Now’s The Time To Learn Thrift, Anyway

Remember the chicken wings and beer I mentioned? You don’t need to support your night life if you cut down on the expenses a bit instead. After all, once you graduate, you’ll enter a world of rent and taxes, a world in which the words “student debt” will strike fear into your heart. If you learn to live within your means now, you’re taking a step down the road to economic freedom.

I’m not saying you can’t work as a student. I’m just saying that you need to look out for the time-sucking trap student jobs can be. Some bosses don’t mind if students do homework when business is slow. Some jobs provide a decent wage. Maybe you’ll even stumble upon the college student’s Holy Grail: a paid internship. Just realize that it’s not a crime to choosing your studies above washing dishes in the lunchroom.