Getting settled into college is a drawn-out process for everyone, from freshmen who are 2,000 miles away from home for the first time to seniors who could navigate campus blindfolded.
The process begins with an end-of-summer shopping trip to Target, followed by a hectic move-in day that leads into a celebratory first night out. From there, it is all about getting a feel for classes during the add/drop period, buying textbooks, and maybe even opening some of them.
All the while, your bank account is slowly draining. Time to get a (shudder) job.
When positions in the dining hall, bookstore and library inevitably fly off of the shelves, fear not! College Magazine has you covered with our list of the 10 most underrated on-campus jobs.
10. Fitness instructor: Colleges usually offer swim instruction to local children, so put that summer of lifeguarding to use. You may also be able to teach tennis lessons or yoga classes, or to be a personal trainer for fellow students. For the less coordinated, a job at the gym sign-in desk is right up your alley.
9. Maintenance crew worker: This mostly requires lifting things up and putting them back down again. Some schools also hire a bull crew to change out the stadium flooring between hockey and basketball games.
8. Athletic concessions vendor: Pros: minimal physical labor, and the potential to get free hot dogs and candy. Cons: missing out on game day.
7. Studio sign-in supervisor: If your school has any form of creative programming (art, photography, music, etc.) it is likely that students have access to the studio after hours. Picture the gym sign-in desk, only surrounded by creative minds instead of sweaty bodies.
6. Grad school employee: The dining hall, bookstore, and library positions may fill early, but if your university has a graduate school, it is likely that it has some separate facilities with openings. Grad students get hungry too, you know.
5. Call center representative: How well can you charm total strangers over the phone into donating money to your school? Working in a call center usually entails speaking with people who have connections to your college, with the end goal of raking in funds. While it can be a tedious job, it can also lead to valuable alumni connections.
4. Campus caterer: The food that you could sneak from a fancy school-sponsored reception beats whatever they serve in your dining hall, for starters.
3. Note taker: You should probably be taking notes in class anyways, so why not make some money off of them? Occasionally, professors will hire a student take especially diligent notes to pass along to students with registered disabilities.
2. Mailroom worker: Or, in other words, doing homework in between handing out packages.
1. Research assistant: Ding ding ding! Assisting a professor with research is a resume builder + a reference within your desired field + cash flow. We have ourselves a winner.