Summertime for some college students means packing up and heading back home to live with their parents for the summer. Others decide to stay in Ellensburg for the summer, when regular school is not in session. Whether this means staying on campus for the summer and working or finding a job off campus, there are more opportunities in Ellensburg and Kittitas County than people may think.
CWU gives some students who work on campus the option to stay over the summer and work. If they are taking summer classes, the student is only allowed to work up to 20 hours, but for some, that is plenty.
Senior Kassie Hill said she has worked the past few summers at the Wildcat Shop. Hill said the first summer she worked, she stayed because it was an expectation of the employees at the time that if they could stay, they should. Hill said the expectations have since changed, but she still decided to stay and work during the summer.
“I enjoy getting to experience [Ellensburg] without all of the added college students,” Hill said.
While Ellensburg clears out substantially when school is not in session, Hill is one of the students who enjoys the small town without the crowd.
Hill said she got her job at the Wildcat Shop from applying online through Career Services, and has now been working there for about three years. This will be her fourth summer working for the Wildcat Shop.
Hill said the benefits to working on campus are the extremely flexible hours and how her employer works around her class schedule. She also talked about how easy it is to get from class to work, because they are all on campus which makes her commute that much easier.
Hill said balancing summer classes and a job can be difficult, and being inside most of the day when working and doing school can be challenging. Hill suggests online classes, which she said frees up a lot more time.
“Overall, my tips are to take online classes and don’t be afraid to utilize your free time to go and adventure,” Hill said.
CWU student Kaytlin Kauzlarich works off campus during the school year and in summer. She works at Lums Coffee Stop in Cle Elum. Kauzlarich said that it is challenging to balance school and work.
“I’m more concerned about making money and not losing my job rather than school,” Kauzlarich said.
Kauzlarich made the balance more simple by scheduling her classes so she was done by 11 a.m. everyday, giving her more of a time window in between school and work for her to get things done.
Kauzlarich said that a benefit to working off campus is being able to make tips on top of her hourly wage. She also said she can work more hours if needed because there is no set limit to how much time she can work. Kauzlarich said it is nice to get a break from school and go work, instead of constantly being on campus for both school and work.