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Part-Time Job During Early Undergrad Years?

  1. Mar 21, 2013 #1
    Next year, I'll be a full time student. Due to poor planning on my parents part, the amount of money saved for tuition and other university costs is not as high as it should be. In order to avoid having to ask my father for money (which he wouldn't be too keen on giving me), I've been thinking of taking a part-time job.

    I'm a serious student who has ambitions of going on to grad school, so I don't wanna bite off more than I can chew. If my grades suffer, it would be better to bite the bullet and ask for extra money.

    I know a lot of people do it, but I'm wondering how stressful it really is.

    I'm wondering if, as a second/third year student, I could help teach introduction classes, but I assume this is left to grad students.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2013 #2


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    Of course it will add stress if you take on a part-time job. You'll have less down time or study time than others who don't have part-time jobs. But in my opinion most people can handle some kind of a part-time job. The trick is just making sure you get the right balance.

    In fact some people do better when they have something like that to (a) keep them to a tighter schedule and (b) switch gears out of student mode for a while.

    I recommend looking for something that doesn't require a huge time commitment at first - maybe a single four hour shift each week, and then build up from there. Another option is a job that allows you to study such as a static security position. Of course, that's assuming you have your pick of jobs. Sometimes you have to take what you can get.

    Lots of places will hire senior undergraduates to help with labs or grading. I'm not sure you can count on it, but it may be an option. Another alternative along these lines is tutoring.
  4. Mar 21, 2013 #3
    Also, try to find a campus job that actually gives you time to study. I had friends who worked in the computer labs or in the library and they actually had time to do some studying while they were working. Security is another (nonideal) option.

    You probably can't get much work in paid tutoring as an early undergraduate, but I made some extra money grading once I got to 3rd year.
  5. Mar 21, 2013 #4


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    If all you need is a part time job, then work for your school if possible. A lot of times the job is mind numbing enough so you can do homework, and flexible enough that you can rearrange hours if need be. Plus, a lot of schools, if you become a resident assistance, will offer you free a room. Just something to look into, if money is a consideration.
  6. Mar 21, 2013 #5


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    I worked all way through undergraduate via work-study. Food services (no time for studying on the job, ever, at all). Sometimes I even had (illegal) second jobs. I always had summer jobs (found in my home town through friends). Worked two summers in factories--highly motivating to stay in college.

    Through all this, I was able to take a full load and make good grades. But not without some sacrifices--no vacations (spring break in Florida? forgetaboutit), didn't get married, didn't have children, didn't own a car. But I did get through, and with less debt than people are accustomed to having now.

    Furthermore, my jobs eventually morphed into better jobs, as I knew more. I learned a lot of useful things in those part time jobs. It can be as much good to work during college as not to work.

    It can be done, but the hardest part may be being surrounded by kids who have it given to them--and don't appreciate what they have.
  7. Mar 31, 2013 #6
    It depends a lot on your department. My school doesn't have a physics grad program, and this semester I'm teaching about a 20 hour/week TA load (4 sections of intro mechanics lab).
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