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One of the concerns that most prospective student athletes have is about money. Will I be able to afford living in America? How quickly will I run out of money? It is important to have these concerns because you definitely want to be well prepared in terms of paying for your new life in America. Although you may be off to college on a good sports scholarship, there are other things in which you might want to consider, such as paying for your books, food, daily necessities (such as shampoo and toothpaste) and entertainment activities.
However, although you might come across some debt while you are at college, there are solutions that will keep you up and running. The main and most simple solution that I suggest (besides having good money management) is to get an on-campus job. It is a good way to interact with people and have a steady income at the same time.
What do I mean by an “on-campus job”? Once you get to your college in America, you will understand what I mean by an on-campus job. The college itself will have many different services that will need to stay running in order for the students to be able to truly utilise these services and maximise their college experience. There are many different on-campus jobs that will be on offer for students at your college. Some examples of on-campus jobs include: working in the library, working in the business office, working in the cafeteria or working as a resident assistant.
Some of these jobs are self explanatory and can either help you earn money, or gain some work experience that you can put towards your degree. The resident assistant job (commonly known as an RA) is a job that will pay for your room and board. This job might appeal to you if your room and board is not included in your scholarship package. The RA acts as a “supervisor” or “mediator” in the residence halls. There is usually one RA on each floor and their job is to look after the students living on that floor and deal with any problems that they may have. It is a simple job that may be a great solution to your money problems. This is just one of many examples of a great on-campus job that is on offer to you.
Getting an on-campus job is definitely a great way to support yourself in terms of money. However, you may be thinking that you are not legal to work in America because you are on a student visa. Yes, it is true that working in America on a student visa is illegal. But, working on campus is allowed and is 100% legal. All you have to do is gain some sort of written permission by your employer, in order to get a social security number. Once you have the social security number, you will be ready to work! However, it is important to learn the correct processes of going about this in order to ensure legality.
It is not essential to have a job while you are at college in America, but it might be worth considering if you struggle with money management. You will also need to manage your time well especially if you are student athlete and have practice almost every day. Don't decide that you will try to get a job as soon as you get to college. Wait until you settle in a bit and understand how your college operates. You don't need to be stressing about money during your first year when you should be having fun and enjoying new experiences.
By Mika Deane