Money struggle amongst college students

By Melissa Goldberg |

As the economic crisis affects most Americans, it takes an even worse toll on college students.

Employers are looking for experience, knowledge and flexible schedules for prospective candidates. College students offer part-time availability, times working around classes and the fact that they are presently gaining the knowledge needed for said career. This leaves students, especially in St. Augustine, in a terrible situation.

St. Augustine makes its money from tourism and its history. From St. George Street to other downtown festivities, Flagler College relies on tourists to bring in money for the college and to bring job opportunities. Without vacationers, stores and restaurant owners do not have the money to pay employees, leaving many students without jobs.

Not only is tuition costly, but also the price of books, supplies for classes, living arrangements and food are important parts of college life. Students struggle to pay bills with a part-time minimum wage job, not to mention having no job.

Amanda Plummer, sophomore, feels that there is no happy medium with school and paying the bills. “I work as much as school allows me to,” Plummer said. “When I’m not working, I’m study while trying to get a few hours of sleep a night. It’s a repeated monthly struggle. A part-time job doesn’t cut it and being a full-time student doesn’t allow for me to focus on my studies.”

With this in mind, the job search continues for many.

CareerSPOT has opened doors with assisting in the employment hunt. The site for Flagler students lists local employers from St. Augustine to Jacksonville and also some out-of-state internships. This opportunity is given to Flagler students first-hand for some part-time jobs, full-time jobs or even jobs in particular career fields for long-term employment.

“I’m a business major and I want to get into the hospitality industry,” Joe Morreale, senior said. “I’ve been a student here for almost four years now and finding a job that helped me prepare for my future was tough. Restaurants are cool for extra money, but I want the knowledge and experience for my career in hospitality management. I had no clue where to begin in finding a job that suits me.” Morreale was introduced to CareerSPOT by his advisor a few months back. Students interested in a specific listed job can send a resume and cover letter to the employer.

One thing that will never go out of style: food. Restaurants are ideal for beginning the job search. Most restaurants have many positions needing to be filled with opportunities for promotions. From waiting, hosting, bussing, kitchen duties and bartending, there is always something for someone. Downtown St. Augustine is filled with restaurants, bars, cafes, ice cream and candy shops. Retail stores are more likely to hire, fire and let go of employees due to the hit or miss foot traffic, making job security rare.

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