Rising tuition causes some to seek odd jobs


“Students are paying higher tuition than ever,” reads a recent news headline in The Atlantic.

According to the Washington Post’s Grade Point news blog, tuition is rising faster than inflation despite wages remaining relatively flat.

While most college students still take on typical jobs as servers, department store employees or tutors, the facts of our current education and economic system have made the college-bound millennial particularly adept at finding alternative ways to make money.

Some students find that more creative and unique jobs can make their undergraduate years more comfortable.

Chantel Rivera, senior nutrition and dietetics major, began searching for a job after returning from a semester in Spain last fall.

A friend she had traveled with was already employed by the bingo hall and knew they were searching for more employees, with a particular interest in hiring students from The University of Southern Mississippi.

Rivera was hired on the spot. As a bingo hall employee, she learned to take on many distinct roles.

“Everyone at the bingo hall is expected to be able to do multiple jobs,” she said. “So each person can fill in for anyone who is unable to be there. I was originally hired as a caller, but I enjoyed selling, so that is mainly what I did.”

As a seller, Rivera sold bingo sheets to players throughout the night. Speed and accuracy were key components of her job. She had to make sure the line did not get too long and that she gave back the correct change.

Although Rivera excelled at the job, she did face some minor challenges during her seven months there. Any trouble she might have had involved mainly the interaction of such large numbers of differing personalities.

“I definitely learned to keep calm in all situations,” she said. “I realized no matter how ridiculous someone’s complaint may seem to you, people just want to be heard and respected.”

Rivera believes working an odd job can be a rewarding experience and that you don’t necessarily have to look far to find one.

“Just start asking around. Start with the people you know because everyone knows someone who knows someone,” she said. “You’d be surprised what you could find in Hattiesburg.”