Working Three Jobs as a Swarthmore Student

No two experiences at Swarthmore are exactly the same. With so many students on this small campus, there are naturally students who work and those who don’t. Whether it is for extra spending money or out of economic necessity, there are various different reasons why students choose to work on campus. With that being said, I’d like to offer my perspective on working three jobs as a Swarthmore student.


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I am currently employed as a front-desk attendant at the Garnet Field House, which is the main athletic facility at Swat, as a reserve desk assistant at the McCabe Library, and as an admissions blogger for Swarthmore.

My responsibilities at the library include engaging with students and visitors in need of books, videos, and electronics located in the reserve section of the library. I also stack, shelve, organize, and take inventory of the many books, reserve or otherwise, that circulate throughout the library.

While working at the front desk at the Field House, I attend to students, parents, guests, and other visitors who have any questions about athletic facilities or sporting events on campus. During campus events and athletic competitions, I am responsible for guiding and informing any guests in need of assistance.

As an admissions blogger, I write posts for the Swarthmore admissions blog. With the freedom to write about any topic of choice, a general goal is to provide a unique perspective of what life is like as a Swarthmore student for potential applicants and incoming first-years.



Although I am a student who relies heavily on both financial aid and work-study, my reason for working three jobs is more of an attempt to establish a sense of economic independence from and be less of a burden on my parents than it is out of necessity. Still, taking on three positions while also enrolled as a full-time college student may come across as too demanding or even overwhelming. Let my explain why this hasn’t been the case for me and doesn’t necessarily have to be for you either.

  1. Even between these three positions I rarely work over ten hours per week. Although a typical part-time off-campus job would require a far greater time commitment, the Student Employment Office helps prevent campus jobs from becoming an overbearing priority in the lives of students.
  2. Not all campus jobs are that demanding. In fact, certain jobs make it possible for you to do classwork while on the clock. For example, on non-busy days at the library or Field House, my time spent at the desk can be used for catching up on readings and other homework. Also, as an admissions blogger, I’m able to choose when and where I put in my hours, which comes in very handy during busy exam weeks.

All in all, many factors contribute to how busy you are at Swat, such as the kinds of jobs you find or are interested in, other commitments you have on or off campus, hobbies and extracurriculars, and, needless to say, your course load. Before diving into student employment at Swarthmore, I recommend establishing a schedule with which you feel comfortable and building on it from there. Finally, something to keep in mind, something which I find myself forgetting when I think of applying for even more campus jobs, is this: your college experience should not be centered on earning the biggest paycheck, and there are literally hundreds of other clubs and organizations that have the potential to offer you far more than a paycheck. 


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