Is IT More Important to Be Involved in Campus Activities or to Get a Job?

Deciding whether or not to be involved in campus activities or to get a job can be a difficult choice for some. We've listed some pros and cons for each to help you decide.


Getting Involved in Campus Activities or Getting a Job

College is a time to try new things. Clubs and organizations on campus can give you experience you'll get nowhere else in life. Jobs can prepare you for your post-college existence and earn you a little money, too. But which of those is more important? Which should you do? Or can you somehow manage to balance the two?

A college student doesn't go to school just to get good grades. They're also there to learn new things and to prepare themselves for life after they graduate. Part of that is knowing how to hold a job; another part is having unique experiences that make you a more diverse person. There are a few ways to do that, but your two main options are joining student organizations or getting a job. Which is better for you? Well, each has their upsides, so perhaps it's a good idea to weigh them against each other.

Getting a Job

The Pros

One of the most immediate pluses that you're going to notice from having a job is the extra cash. You'll have extra money to spend on clothes, food or actual college expenses. But the money, though pretty awesome, is not the greatest advantage of finding employment: you'll also be gaining valuable experience that you can use for jobs in the future. In this tough economy, employers are looking for work experience just as much or more than a college degree. In other words, getting both a job and a degree gives you a leg up on most of your fellow students when you enter the working world.

The Cons

Jobs take time. They take your social time, your study time and even sometimes your sleeping time. Jobs also tend to have you doing the same basic tasks every day, which isn't exactly going to help you develop as a widely knowledgeable person. You'll be missing out on fun and interesting experiences that could turn into stories you'd want to tell your children some day. Jobs limit time with friends on campus, and the group of people you can pick new friends out of tends to be very limited at the workplace.

Student Organizations

The Pros

Part of college is all about having fun, and a lot of student organizations can help you with that. Clubs are a fantastic way to socialize and try new things you might never have thought of before. An a cappella group? Why not! The rowing team? Absolutely! Some of these clubs may even work in your favor on future job applications, depending on what activities you choose. Chances are that some of your friends will also be in these organizations already, so you'll get to spend time with people you like. Also, it never hurts to support your school by participating in organized events and groups.

The Cons

Clubs do not make you money. In fact many college organizations, especially sports teams, cost you money instead. You won't be adding to your savings account, and while fun and experience are valuable things to have in your life, they don't always help you down the line. Potential employers are far more likely to want a prior job on your application rather than experience in the student writing club. Plus, these organizations still take up study and sleep time on occasion.

The Balancing Act

When you get down to it, it's smart to have a bit of both of these under your belt during your college career. Consider looking for a job that only has you working a few times a week, or only on weekends if you're willing to make that sacrifice. Sign up for a few student organizations rather than ten or 20, and make sure you note how often they meet so they won't conflict with a potential job. Beyond that, the choice is up to you as far as how much time you spend on what. You have to decide which is more valuable to your life and future and then see if you can make that decision work. In the end, making choices like that is one of the most important things that college should teach you.

Want to make some money during college? How about becoming a student entrepreneur?

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