Work Study

During college, I had a couple work study jobs. I'm super thankful that these jobs existed, while they were fairly menial, they still provided a broke college student some side income to pay for rent and enjoy a few niceties on the weekends.

Hall Monitor

The first work study job I had was being a hall monitor at my dormitory. Many of the dorms on campus had only a single entrance, but my dormitory had both a ground floor entrance and a top floor entrance. This required two monitors to be working at all times.

None of us were permanently assigned either one - so I ended up switching a lot based on the time and day. The job was fairly simple at night - as we had carded doors that automatically locked after a certain time. So, that did most of the work for us. The thing we had to watch out for was people bringing in additional guests.

Many of the nights were fairly calm. I spent a majority of the time hanging out with a buddy who would visit or doing homework. One night we did bring up Guitar Hero and played it basically the entire night. That was fun.

However, there was one night that things got... interesting. Around 3 am a guy who lived in the dorm came out a side hallway with a girl draped over his shoulder. From what I could tell - she was completely passed out and I was extremely concerned.

This was the first time that I actually had to do my "job". As I started to speak up - he realized that hallway access was also locked by card. Thankfully, he didn't have his - so even though he was able to sneak into a door on a lower level, he was unable to access the hallway doors which gave him access to his room.

When he realized that he was locked out - he demanded that I use my card to let him into the hallway to get into his room. When I resisted - he grew very angry. The more I told him no, the more certain I grew that he was going to get physical.

Thankfully, he peacefully gave up and left the lobby down the same public hallway that he entered in. My only assumption at this point was that he was searching for another vulnerable area to enter the private hallways. (I know people have just waited for other tenants to open the hallway doors when they've forgotten their cards.)

I scrambled to call an RA at this point, as we were instructed to go through them should any dangerous scenario arise. No answer. Called again - no answer. One more time just to see if I could wake him up. No answer. I began to panic. I didn't know if I should follow them or call the police. I looked down the hallway and they were nowhere to be seen.

So, at this point - I was ready to call the police. I pulled out my phone and started dialing when the guy came back out of the hallway and began screaming at me again. At the exact same time - the RA that I had been trying to reach came out of the stairwell door. What timing...

I'm assuming he was making his rounds as I was calling him - and just didn't hear the phone. From that point the RA took over and diffused the situation. It was an interesting night. I saw the same guy pretty regularly around campus after that, and then found out he was one of my friends roommates. Thankfully, I believe he was so drunk he didn't remember me or the altercation. So, it all worked out... But he should've absolutely been written up - and kicked out of the dorm and school based on what he was attempting to do.

Lab Monitor

The Hall Monitor position was a great way to earn some cash and do homework, but I never grew attached to it. Once I moved out of the dorm and into my own apartment - I also had to switch work study jobs. The next job I was given a was working as a late evening computer lab monitor at Wallman Hall.

The job was basically the same thing as my hall monitor role - except I had much less to actually worry about. The lab was tucked into a lower corner of the building that wasn't frequently used by anyone other than the band students. The band's practice room was directly across the hall from the lab, so every day after their practice they would always end up in the lab finishing up homework and goofing off.

They were pretty wild at times, but they provided some fun entertainment and they never really did anything that made the job difficult - especially since not many others ever visited the lab. I generally kept to myself and just enjoyed their company.

If I recall correctly, I think my shift started around 5pm and I worked until the lab closed at 9pm. Those four hours represented some of the most relaxing and zenlike moments of my college experience. I was always productive with my homework and I remember my time spent in there very fondly.

One specific memory from the lab that comes to mind is discovering Freddy's Nightmares. Growing up as a huge fan of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series, I have no idea how I missed the short lived TV show. I don't remember how I found it, but one evening I ended up stumbling upon the entire series on an old streaming service ran by AOL. I believe it was called AOL TV or something of that nature.

I spent the next couple weeks working on homework and streaming episodes of Freddy's Nightmares. It's one of my favorite memories that I continue to miss and cherish to this day. I even have this vivid memory of a Tylenol commercial that they would show at every commercial break. I'd love to find a recording of that somewhere...

To this day, I consider my time spend in that computer lab as one of the greatest "jobs" I'll ever have. When I'm feeling down about something, I'll sometimes day dream about that lab and my time spent there in college.