As hardworking students, we all similarly stress over the same problems. From juggling academics, extracurriculars and a social life, college plebes have one big, reoccurring struggle to deal with: money. Yes, many undergrads find themselves at a crossroads when trying to find a job that can allow them to have phenomenal grades, attend meetings and maintain a balanced social life.
When looking for a job, most students want to find a place close to their apartment that works decent hours, pays above minimum wage and avoids giving them the urge to fling themselves off of a building. Of course, in a perfect world, every student can land a job that meets all of those requirements.
Very luckily for myself, as I know this isn’t the case for many college students, I have full support from my parents through all my college money endeavors. Regardless, who doesn’t love the feeling of freedom and independence of supporting yourself financially? (No, I’m not joking.) So, in order to no longer have to rely on my parents for spending money, I set out to find the perfect job so I could have some extra cash on the side.
After building up my resume with my past jobs, positions and some helpful references, I sent it out to all the employers that I truly found an interest in working with. A couple of days later, I landed myself a spot as a group fitness and barre instructor at a local yoga studio after acing my class audition. While my job as an instructor completely meets all of the “student qualifications,” it’s taught me a lot more about how I could improve myself as a student in a perspective I wasn’t able to see before.
So, here are four reasons why I think any college student should look into a job as an instructor.
1. You have a set schedule.
Personally, I’m super anal about keeping my schedule organized. It’s so convenient having everything set-in-stone. Whether you’re working for a studio as a fitness instructor or any kind of teaching job, most facilities will work around your school and meeting schedule.
For example, I currently teach my fitness classes Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings, and every class I teach is an hour long. Not only does this give you the freedom to have a job and still have time to focus on school work, but it also lets you fit in a quick, paid workout into your schedule (which is important, if you’re a fitness junkie like myself). Whether you’re teaching for just a few hours a week or you’re booked for a dozen appointments, you can still have time for other priorities.
2. You better understand the perspectives of your professors.
As an instructor and college student myself, I’m able to see the difficulties teachers encounter when trying to get their points across to students. Though cliché, it’s true that students learn and retain information in a variety of different ways.
From a fitness perspective, I had to realize that a majority of my students have possibly never taken a fitness class before, but this also goes for any type of class you take, whether it’s a school class or some type of extracurricular. I gained a great amount of respect for my teachers because teaching fitness newbies how to perform a basic squat is just as difficult as teaching ninth graders how to use the quadratic formula. As an instructor, you become more patient with the paces of your peers’ learning abilities and also with the way that your own teachers adapt to the minds of various students.
3. Jobs that require certifications tend to pay more.
Not sure about you, but I think one of the best parts of making money on the side is being able to pay for necessities like new Nike Airs, square scarves from Zara, berets from Nordstrom — oh, and your textbooks and classes — without asking mom or dad for their card. As a sophomore in high school a couple years back, I quickly learned that as a lifeguard I was banking a lot more than my best friend working at Texas Roadhouse (sorry, Sarah, love ya).
At my first pool, I was making $9 an hour and eventually found a year-round pool where I was paid $10 an hour, the highest-paying position at the facility where I worked. The increase in pay was because at the second place you had to have a lifeguard certification and be CPR- and first-aid certified.
Now, while lifeguarding isn’t an instructing position, my current job is. By being certified in barre and soon group fitness, I’m making $20 an hour — just the right amount for groceries, gas and whatever ridiculously priced textbooks I’ll need for the semester. On top of the pay increase, certifications look awesome on your resume and show the multiple qualifications that you hold. If you want to get certified in a multitude of activities, it also shows you’re a well-rounded individual.
4. You get to help people (and get paid for it).
One of the biggest rewards I’ve received as an instructor is the satisfaction of improving the health of my students, one workout at a time. Whether your students are veterans or newbies, you’re are giving them something beneficial through every class: a little more knowledge on the subject you instruct. Whatever you are teaching, math or piano, it’s a pretty amazing feeling knowing that sharing your knowledge and expertise with someone will benefit their life in some way, shape or form. On the plus side, you get paid for it too.