As the summer is vastly approaching, one topic is on every student’s mind; a summer job. Many students view the summer as “fun in the sun,” while others dread the long work days they will soon encounter.
In Bloomsburg, Pa, the need for jobs is always growing. This small town is home to Bloomsburg University, which houses approximately 25,000 students during their fall and spring semesters. The University offers jobs during the school year as well as the following summer months.
Although there are several job offerings on campus, it is hardly enough. Most students are unemployed during the school year and are in desperate need of some cash. Unfortunately, the town of Bloomsburg is rather small. Therefore, it is quite hard for a student to find a job off campus as well.
Jenn Miller, a freshman at Bloomsburg University discussed her concerns about the lack of jobs available off campus. “I’ve applied for several jobs but no one’s hiring,” said Miller. “It doesn’t help that there are very few restaurants. At my home in East Stroudsburg, Pa, I waitress at a restaurant called Garfield’s. I was hoping to get something similar to that for the school year.”
Unluckily, Miller isn’t the only one facing this dilemma. Not only is there a lack of restaurant’s, but the local Columbia Mall has very few shops currently open and Bloomsburg’s Main Street is filled with small businesses. With all of the despair, students dramatically depend on their summertime job.
In today’s economy it is no surprise that college students are broke. Most parents cannot afford to send their child money every week or two, so it is important that they set aside a large chunk from their summer savings to bring back the following school year.
One student in particular, Jimmy Rogan, a sophomore at Bloomsburg University spoke of his struggle with money. “I have to pay for things myself,” said Rogan. “I work at the Gap outlets during the summer to support myself during the school year.”
Rogan discussed how his parents never handed him anything because they simply couldn’t afford too. He has to buy everything on his own, and struggles with it during the school year. He went on to say:
“I try to work as much as possible in the summer and winter breaks; it’s the only way I have money to have fun with my friends. I also use the money to buy necessities for my apartment. Everything adds up quick.”
Despite the never-ending need for money most students have shown, some students are on the other end of the financial field. A student like Juan Flores, sophomore, does not depend on a summer job for his cash, but rather his parents.
“I’m not spoiled. I have worked in the summer before at places like McDonald’s. However my parents will give me money when I ask for it,” said Flores. “I feel bad asking so I look for a job, but my family does make enough that I’m fortunate enough to not have to work all year.”
During the summer Flores spends his time on vacations with friends or family, usually places like Miami. During the school year, his parents send him money from his hometown. Flores talked about how relieved he was that he didn’t have to worry all summer.
Another student that has it easier than students like Jimmy Rogan is Jessica Zambito, a sophomore at Bloomsburg University. Zambito spends her summers as a YMCA camp counselor. She works hard Monday through Friday on an 8-5 p.m. shift.
Despite her hard work ethic, Zambito’s parents are fully able to support her financially. “If I didn’t have a job my parents would be able to help me out with money,” said Zambito.
“In the summer I’ll set aside half of my savings and put it into a separate account. Then, my parents pay me back what I saved to use for the upcoming school year. I am very fortunate.”
Students went on to say their excitement for the summer, whether they had to work or not.
Will Local Businesses Hire Students?
Since there are so many students enrolled in Bloomsburg University, many Bloomsburg residents often wonder where these students are employed, if at all. After interviewing several businesses around town, it was no surprise that they are more than willing to hire students.
One local business that is especially supportive of students is Darkside Tanning. This tanning salon is very popular among Bloomsburg University students, girls in particular. In fact, a majority of the girls have admitted to visiting the salon several times a week.
Aside from the owner, the entire salon is run by Bloomsburg female students. One worker, Danielle Slyman, a sophomore at Bloomsburg has been employed at Darkside Tanning for the past two years.
“I really like my job. It’s pretty easy and I make good pay,” said Slyman. “Not only do I get to tan for free as an employee, but I get to meet a lot of girls that come in. I can frequently name the majority of girls when I see them on campus.”
Not only does Slyman work there while being full-time student, but there are four other student workers. Molly Krause, also a sophomore, is one of them.
“During the spring the job can be hectic, but overall I’m just happy to have a weekly paycheck,” said Krause.
Darkside Tanning is just one of the many local businesses that have Bloomsburg University students on their payroll.
Businesses that hire student workers in the summer
- Garfield’s Restaurant
- Friendly’s Restaurant
- Pizza Hut