The semester here at West Chester is in full swing, and by this point I’m sure many students have come to the same realization that I have: I’m broke. Yes, after weekends at many of the bars in town, late night pizza stops, and, of course, my annual splurge on textbooks, my bank account has dwindled down once again. But, luckily for us students, in West Chester there is no shortage of ways to make money.
A lot of students scoff at the notion of working during the semester. They insist that their classes keep them busy and working would only take away what little time they have for homework and leisure time. And for some that is absolutely true. College shouldn’t be entirely about your work, school-related or not. But in my experience, working during the semester can be a worthwhile and rewarding experience, and having a source of income allows you even more opportunities to have fun.
For the past three years, I’ve worked a part-time job, usually three days a week during the semester at the most. It has been stressful and demanding at times, especially with my course workload increasing over the past two years, but that doesn’t go un-appreciated. My manager has routinely thanked me for what time I could give him, knowing that I have a lot of other things to worry about outside of his store. Putting forth the extra effort, even when you are already busy, is very endearing to an employer. For many of us our jobs after graduating will be quite demanding, probably more so than we are as students. Managing your responsibilities, as hectic as they may be, is one of the most valuable lessons we can all take away from our time at West Chester.
Something that appealed to me about this town when I first arrived was how almost everything is within walking distance. My apartment this year is less than a block from two different pizza places! For as many cars as there are in town, if you live here during the semester, you can walk to just about everything, or take public transportation if need be. For students on the campus, there are employment opportunities at the Student Recreation Center, the Francis Harvey Green Library, and the Learning Assistance and Resource Center. If you live off campus, there’s no shortage of restaurants and shops downtown. You certainly don’t need a car to find a job around here.
Of course, having a job means a source of income. Now, unless you are working a full time job, the semester probably won’t be a time when you’re saving any money. In fact, you’re probably spending a lot more than you save. But that’s okay! Working a job during the week is a great way to gain spending money for the weekend, even if it only softens the blow on the bank account.
Obviously, not everyone has the availability for a part time job. But for those of us who do, we are extremely lucky to attend a school with so many employment options located right on campus or in town. So if you’re like me, wondering how you’ve already managed to blow through all of the money you made this summer, just remember this: in West Chester, opportunity is right around the corner.
Chris Landry is a student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at CL784324@wcupa.edu.