Not working during college may leave more time for hanging around, but leaves you less prepared for life after school.
Not working during college may leave more time for hanging around, but leaves you less prepared for life after school.

To work or not to work: That is the question asked by thousands of college students who face heavy course schedules and light wallets. It’s not an easy choice to make, but if you make the hard one -- and let’s face it, work can be hard -- you probably won’t regret it. As long as you work manageable hours at a job you don’t hate, there’s almost no downside to having a part-time job during college.

Time Management Skills

It’s easy to assume that a part-time job will hurt your grades, but a part-time job can actually make you a better student. Having a job will probably make you wiser in terms of how you spend your time, as studies have shown that students who take on part-time jobs tend to be more organized. If you didn’t work, chances are that you wouldn’t spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on your schoolwork anyway -- although you might spend more time playing video games and checking Facebook.

Gain Work Experience

Competition in the workforce can be tough. When you enter it, you’ll want to have a resume that lists more than your degree. If you can find a part-time job during college that is directly related to your degree, then you’re miles ahead of the rest. If not, every type of work experience teaches you important skills. So don’t worry if the only job you can find is in the service or retail industries -- you’ll learn valuable lessons here that future employers will recognize.

Value Education

Most people don’t appreciate things that come too easily to them. By working for something, we’re constantly reminding ourselves that we care about it; otherwise, we wouldn’t work for it at all. Holding down a part-time job to fund your education will help you remember that your education is important, and studies have shown that part-time jobs may be helpful for undergraduates, whose grades are typically higher than those students who are unemployed.

More Spending Money and Less Debt

Of course, some people are very fortunate to have everything paid for. But if you’re one of the vast majority of students who has to choose between being completely broke, going into debt, or holding a part-time job, the job is almost certainly your best option. Worrying about whether or not you can afford to pay the electricity bill won’t help your grades, and if you go into significant debt, you run the risk that you’ll be worrying about the electricity bill sometime in the future.