Work Study: The Good, The Bad, and the Delightful

28 Apr

If you are on financial aid at Union College than you are pretty much guaranteed to have a work study. What is a work study, you wonder? It is a job on campus in an area that you may excel in where all that you make is either put towards tuition or put into your personal bank account. In other words, I love work study. I will take the rest of this post to inform you of various work study jobs around campus and the many benefits of having a work study job while attending classes.
At first I wasn’t sure about how I could fit a work study job around my class schedule, but soon found out just have accommodating this job really is. You are able to work around your classes and change your schedule based upon trimester. Not only that, but if you have a meeting or an event that pops up out of the blue you can usually change your work schedule in order to attend these events.
I personally work in the Web Communications department. At first I wasn’t sure I was placed correctly as my html and web skills were slightly limited, but you learn quickly. Over time I have come to love this job, especially because I get to shoot video and create this blog. The job went from being a necessity to something I actually really enjoy doing and have had a lot of fun with over the course of this year.
I have had a couple friends who have either really liked or hated their work studies. One of friends works as a life guard at the pool. Obviously you have to be a qualified life guard in order to obtain this position, but she believes it is worth it. Her job is to essentially sit at the pool, do homework, and watch everyone swim in case someone begins to drown, which never happens. So she basically gets paid to do her homework which is a great deal, even if it is a million degrees in the pool. My next friend works at the front desk of the gym watching college students filter in through the doors for a workout. That is literally her job. Most days I walk in and she is sitting doing work or eating a sandwich. I have another friend who works in the library where she is not allowed to eat. She is in charge of one of the reference desks and checks books, movies, magazines, etc out to the campus community. When no one comes in she sits and does homework or reads. Needless to say she is another friend who loves her work study.
I have only met two people so far who have been dissatisfied with their work study placements. The first is one of my guy friends who used to work with the ground maintenance department. His job was to essentially beautify the campus by planting flowers, weeding, raking leaves, etc. Now this might not sound too bad, but in the winter he was forced to get up at 4 am to be ready to shovel snow at 5. When you are a college student sleep is so essential and therefore this work study was a nightmare. He eventually switched work study jobs he disliked his first one so much. My other friend works in Rathskeller preparing greasy yet delicious food for the masses. She really doesn’t like this job too much as she is constantly on her feet, constantly cooking some sort of greasy food, and is constantly a million degrees hotter than she feels is normal. Her job is basically one sweaty, greasy mess and I am sure that next year she will be applying for a new work study.
All in all work study’s are a great way to meet new people on campus, become a part of the behind the scenes activities that take place, and earn a decent amount of money to either be put toward tuition or kept for your own personal spending. Anyone who applies for a work study should be honest about the skills they possess and what interests them in order to be placed accordingly. Sometimes you can’t help what work study you get, but it will be a new experience that, in the end, you will learn a lot from.


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