Consider carefully the pros and cons of working while studying. Some courses are simply too intensive to allow you to work a job. You must be very careful and consider your circumstances and your personal attitudes very closely. You must also remember that college/university is a once in a lifetime period, whereas you will be working a job for the rest of your life.
Pro - More money to enjoy free time
Free time is precious for a student. The call of his or her studies, friends, and family is quite strong, as the feeling that pleasurable time is somehow counterproductive in a structured academic environment. Nevertheless, on the rare occasion that a student allows himself/herself to have a good time, it is a good idea to have some money.
Pro - It forces you back into reality
Working a low paid and boring job for a boss will often make the student realize how the world really works. Sometimes a student who is getting too accustomed to having a good time may realize the error of his/her ways when confronted with a structured work environment. It often reminds a student of where he/she may end up if he/she fails his/her studies.
Pro - It’s often for meeting new people
Your course and your dorm will be inhabited by people you know, but it is a little harder to meet people from other dorms or courses. Working a job that allows you access to other people is a good way to meet different people.
Con - Only the most organized don’t lose sleep
There are a lot of pressures and drains on a student’s time, and working a job is a big one. It takes time out of the student’s day that he/she could be using to study or see friends. Many students compensate by losing sleep, which is a bad idea.
Con - There is less time to enjoy college/university
As a student, you have a chance to exist in an establishment full of people who are your age, of similar backgrounds, with similar marital statuses. There will never be a time like this again, which is why you should enjoy it. Working a job will remove some of that time.
Con - It starts a destructive feedback cycle
Three things make you tired whilst also make you miss sleep--studies/coursework, friends and work. The more sleep you miss then the more tired you become. You see your friends less to catch up on your studies, and then need to catch up with your friends and family. Each week your job takes a portion of your motivation and chips away at your sleep-deprived state. Your studies and coursework take longer because you have not caught up on week’s worth of sleep, so it takes you longer, making things worse. Here is an example of how the destructive cycle works:
Let’s say you take a job for 16 hours per week at a fast food chain. Eventually, you start to hate the fact you have to go back which negatively affects your attitude. Trying to do anything productive before work is pointless so you lose the time on the run up to work, and after work, you are tired and have to shower. Working only two days per week removes any productivity from those days, aside from attending work (and working there). To enjoy college life or your friends you have to stay up late the rest of the week. You lose sleep, which affects your studies. Your grades slip and your mood worsens. You need to put in more hours of study to catch up to the others and complete your coursework. You resent having to continue working but now need the money because you are neglecting your friends and family. You need the money to see them, but you are too tired from writing essays all night. And the cycle goes on and on until you burn out.