As a freshman, there are a lot of things that seem daunting and scary; a new school, new friends, new classes, sometimes a new state. On top of all that, most students need or want a part-time job as well. The last thing students want to do is go outside their campus, especially when there are already jobs safely at school. I think it’s a good idea to get a job off-campus and here’s why.
I moved to a brand new city to begin my college career. Working off-campus provided me the best experience of my freshman year. I got to throw myself right into the city I now call home, got to know its residents, and meet students from different schools that I would have never met otherwise. I have countless stories from working in the city and have grown to love the little community I found in a local Boston business where I proudly work. While freshman year is challenging enough, I think working off-campus and stepping outside of your comfort zone is limitlessly rewarding and worth the effort.
Luck played a part in how I found a perfect part-time job in my attempt to explore a new city. I decided to go to a ‘doughnut open house’ at a local business called Blackbird Doughnuts, where I assumed you went and tasted their menu. Not quite. Apparently open house means open interviews and bring a resume. So I stepped into what I thought was the line to buy a doughnut and left with a job offer. Thankfully, working at Blackbird is one of the main reasons my freshman year was so amazing. Even if the idea of balancing work and school and meeting new people seemed to be incredibly daunting, I was pleasantly surprised to see the intersection of all three at Blackbird.
I made new friends who went to other schools in Boston like Berklee and Emerson, as well as people who went to my school, Boston University, giving me familiar faces to see both in the city and on-campus. One of my coworkers who also went to BU gave me all the advice my freshman heart desired. While I had no idea then, the next year we ended up having a class together in which we collaborated on notes and helped each other study for the final. I gained all of this while being paid to work at a fun little doughnut shop in the heart of Boston!
The most unexpectedly rewarding part of working off campus, however, had to be meeting the people of Boston, even when that came with a few crazy stories. How many other people have witnessed an angry customer throw a doughnut at their coworkers or have seen the same decked out dog with a speaker on his back and red “doggles” walk past their shop every day for a month? I haven’t met many people who have gotten to know the people of Boston like I have. I’ve met small business owners, nurses working nearby, die-hard Boston sports fans, and even a florist who ran out of the store to his car to give my coworker and me flowers after talking to us.
I have loved working with every single coworker and have incredible admiration for my managers and my boss – who defines what it is to be a girl boss in the food service industry and in life. I couldn’t have found better role models and I wouldn’t have found them without stepping out of my comfort zone and finding an off-campus job. When I got in line to buy a doughnut, I left with more than a job offer – I left with a whole new community that I never expected to have. Not many college kids can say that. So if you can get an off-campus job, you should. I’ve learned it’s the least scary thing you can possibly do.