College: A Working Performance

The opportunity of obtaining a higher education is one of the greatest gifts to receive, as I like to think of knowledge is synonymous with power. College can be a crazy time as you discover career options or even identifying what your core values and beliefs are. Between all of the soul-searching and study guides, I think one of the most pivotal components of my University experience was been dipping my toes into the workforce.

Let’s be real here: college costs a lot of money, being a full-time student is a full-time job, and you should always put your education before anything else. In my life, I found having a job while being in school was a great developmental experience.

I majored in Musical Theatre but worked in several office environments, call centers, even a farm (definitely a unique experience) and more throughout my Undergrad. Working in a plethora of different atmospheres taught me many skill sets that I wouldn’t have learned in my education, but also emphasized ideas and concepts that my professors have taught in the past.

“But I can’t find a job in my intended career field…Shouldn’t I just focus on learning and then worry about working about paying off my monumental student loans when I graduate?”
~Hypothetical College Student

Even if you are unable to be employed in a realm related to your major, I think it’s still beneficial to work in a professional atmosphere. That way you can discover a handful of abilities that a classroom only scrapes the surface of.

Whether it’s related to budgeting time or money, navigating professional relationships, or developing a further understanding of “value” there’s always something you can learn to further your personal progress.

My supervisor Carly, who I worked for at my University’s Office of Admissions

Thankfully, a University schedule is not as cramped as a high school timetable, giving you an opportunity to finesse your time management skills. Once you have a job and a class schedule it only amplifies your duty to prioritize tasks and obtain a better understanding of your time.

When working a job and being a full-time student you are given the opportunity to notice the rate at which you are able to accomplish certain duties. Limited free time helps teach you how to optimize your remaining time effectively.

Seeing that direct deposit drop into my account at midnight is definitely one of the universe’s greatest gifts…Being employed and making your own money teaches you the value of a dollar. “Am I really willing to spend thirty dollars on this sweater that looks just like my other one? Or should I save that money for another time?”

I studied theatre performance & employment in undergrad.

In life, we have to navigate relationships with people of many different categories. One of those sub-genres is a “Working relationship”. I like to think everyone wants to be a good boss one day, but the only way to know what that is is to have been on the other side of the table. Learning how to communicate effectively while still maintaining a position of authority is difficult, and from having worked under many supervisors, I have learned from their example.

College is a crazy, fun time, where you spend lots of time in the classroom and late nights at iHop with your friends. But also allow those years to be a time of professional growth in addition to educational and personal exploration.

Having many different jobs during my undergrad taught me how to be accountable, manage my time and money, and gave me time to learn about having working relationships. I greatly recommend all students have a part-time job while being in college.