Kenna Gottschalk, Staff Writer

When I was in middle school, there was a poster in a classroom that read, “If school was your job (which it basically is at the time!), would you be getting a promotion, getting by, or getting fired?

 School is not my job. A job is “a paid position of regular employment.” I am most certainly not making money in class; in fact, I’m spending my money to be there. Granted, I am being paid in knowledge, lessons, information and more, but I’m not earning currency for attending class and completing my assignments. School is a privilege and an institution that, if used correctly, can help you the rest of your life. Yet, without work experience, first time workers may find themselves overwhelmed, frustrated and timid when first starting a job. This is because they don’t yet understand the logistics, reasonings, and systems that are in place to make an organization run effectively. A part-time job in college can greatly assist in the transition to full-time employment after college for a more successful start to one’s professional career.

Having professional connections can create opportunities one may not have otherwise while establishing a network of human resources before college is even over, which is a huge benefit. Studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that undergraduate students who work part-time in college have higher GPAs than students who don’t work at all. Therefore, if you are a student who feels constantly submerged in homework, and worry that you’re incapable of managing additional stress, then I think you should reflect on the way you are truly spending your time, establish priorities, organize your day and then find a job that allows you to plan a work schedule that you feel is healthy and manageable. It doesn’t matter what your major is or what job you choose, any job in college is teaching you practical skills you’ll use after graduation. Some of those skills entail learning how to work on a team, solving problems, acting professionally and communicating effectively. All of which will take you far.

Luckily, there are countless options on campus to work. With a wide range of opportunities, positions, fields and connections, you certainly have a high chance of finding an on-campus job that works for you. This can make your load seem easier than working off-campus because no matter how far away an off-campus job is, time adds up and the convenience of having a job right here on campus is a major bonus.

Also, on-campus employers are required to recognize that you are a student first and that your education is a priority. This means that they are accommodating and schedules can be made flexible. If you go to studentjobs.umsl.edu online, then there will be an extensive list to help you find a job that works best for you. Another plus to working on campus is working with people who can help you connect with others in your field, provide letters of recommendation, and help guide you to your next step in your education, career and life.

Students should take on employment because of the potential benefits and life lessons to be learned. Even four hours of work a week will help one learn new responsibilities, teach efficiency and assist with time management skills. Working will make you more resilient.

Employers want experience, so students should give themselves the chance to get some.