Should I work as a freshman?

This post idea stemmed from the topic of exploring the options of being a tutor in college. Go check out that post if you haven’t read it already!

(Note that while this is general advice, I understand that not every freshman has the choice of deciding whether or not to work during college, and that’s okay!)

Going from high school to college is huge. Whether or not you’re moving into a dorm or commuting from home, the people you meet and things you’ll learn from your experience is going to be nothing like you’ve been through in high school. You’re all (mostly) done with the awkward and horrifying experience of being a teenager and now it’s time for everyone to grow up and get to know themselves better. It’s also the time you realize, boy, those high school teachers have no clue what it’s like in college. Maybe it feels so far away that they don’t realize most college professors aren’t as strict as they are, and high school education did not prepare you for the amount of work you have to do in college. If you’re in high school reading this, no, college isn’t frat parties every day. That would be disgusting.


The step from high school to college was huge for me in the amount of work I had to do. If you’re like me, you got great grades in high school from literally writing your name on your assignments and filling in the blanks of your homework, maybe write some essays at home. I did my homework, classwork, projects, and participated, and even though I never studied and got C’s and D’s on exams, I did enough to pull through with A’s and B’s. In my giant state school, there was no attendance, classwork, and homework, leaving me to have B’s and C’s for my course grades. I was also far away from my parents, surrounded by 18 year olds who were also far away from parents 24/7, and was free to move around campus without a hall pass. I decided whether or not I wanted to go to class, and near the end of the 2nd semester, I forgot I was even in General Biology. I was slipping in my other classes and it was hard to study for the first time and manage my time between several subjects at once.


Freshman year is also the time to make new friends and join clubs. There’s serious FOMO going around and especially the upperclassmen are trying their best to recruit new members! I ended up joining a dozen clubs! I had to quit all but 2 when I realized I needed more time to study, though.


What I’m trying to say is, I can’t imagine having my hectic freshman experience with a part time job. I surely did consider it, but I was scrambling to grow my social life, participate in clubs, and pull up grades that having a job would have surely pushed me over. If I worked, there would have been something to push out, and already in my case I was sleeping at 2-3 AM because of studying and clubs. If you want to still be independent, I suggest working something out for your sophomore year, when you’re used to a full academic year of getting into the routine of managing yourself!

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