Banner Academy for Undergraduate Enhancement Division of Undergraduate Education

Working in College

When I was in high school, I loved my job. I loved wearing my “official” uniform polo shirts and being thought highly of by my balding, middle-aged managers. Most of all, I loved the satisfying and proud feeling that came along with the little slip of paper that made all those minimum-wage hours worth something. Now, those days are long gone. When I was in high school, I didn’t have a care in the world. I could spend the money I earned on anything I wanted and never felt overwhelmed when it came to working a shift. However, working part-time in college is a lot different than I ever would have expected. 

Shortly after my arrival on campus as a freshman, I joined the 80% of students who work in college, as stated by NBC. At first, it was very easy to manage as I only worked twice a week. However, as the semester progressed I became more and more overwhelmed with my job. I was often scheduled to work the closing shift several nights a week so I would leave for work shortly after class and wouldn’t return to campus until 10 p.m.. After working and making the dreadful walk back to my dorm from K-lot, I was exhausted and in no shape to crack open my books or do any homework.  Thankfully, after working a multitude of part-time jobs at the mall and in Lexington restaurants, I was lucky enough to get an amazing internship on campus at Academic Enhancement.

Working on campus is a vast improvement from any other job I’ve had in college. Although it can be difficult to find a job on campus, I would really recommend making UK Jobs the first stop on your job hunt. On-campus jobs are a lot more flexible and overall, a lot more understanding of your responsibilities as a full-time college student. They are more than willing to work around your class schedules and understand how busy students are during midterms and finals. Secondly, you don’t have to worry about braving Nicholasville road at 5:30 p.m. to get to work at 6 p.m. since your place of work is only a hop, skip and jump away from your dorm or apartment. However, I think the best perk of all is to not have to work holidays! You can spend your whole break relaxing at home and not have to work Black Friday and Christmas Eve because the university is closed!  

Working in college has also helped me learn how to manage my time and stop procrastinating. When I know I will have to go to work, I am more motivated to get my schoolwork done ahead of time so I won’t have to do it last minute or when I get off work in the event that I have to work late. I know that my first “job” is to be a student, but it’s a lot easier to enjoy your part-time job when you’re not stressed out about work that still needs to be done. Working in college has improved my time management skills and has helped me learn how to balance work and school.

I have also learned a lot of communication skills from my experiences with working in college as well. I know to talk to customers differently than I would talk to my boss. More importantly, I learned how to actually hold a conversation with my superiors, which is something that was always a little awkward in high school. In addition to these skills, I have also met a lot of people and made a lot of friends that I may have never met if it weren’t for my jobs!

Although working in college has its ups and downs, I have learned a lot from my experience. I know that I will carry the skills that I have learned from working part-time in college with me for the rest of my life.  Between learning to manage my time and developing my professional skills, working in college has helped me become a more well-rounded college student.