The single smartest thing I’ve done in my time at UMass is getting an on-campus job. In fact, I'm fortunate enough to have two of them. Aside from serving as a student blogger, I’m also a student assistant in the athletic communications department. Both jobs are within walking distance from my dorm, I get to choose my hours, my pay isn't taxed (an added bonus), and I get real-world experience by applying my major in the workforce.
As a communication major, both jobs have helped me gain valuable experience in my desired field, all while balancing my schoolwork. In actuality, it hasn't been too difficult to balance both because I only average about five hours a week. This is the perfect balance for me. Working five hours a week is manageable with my class schedule, and making $55 in that span pays for books, gas, and justifies any impulsive off-campus food purchases that I make (sometimes too often).
I recommend on-campus employment to anyone in college that needs to help support themselves while in school. There are plenty of options in all fields to support all schedules. There are jobs that don't allow you to work more than four hours a week, and then there are others that are allow 10-40 hours per week both as work-study or non-work-study. Communication jobs, accounting assistants, biology lab assistants, campus store cashiers, peer mentors, counseling, and everything in between are available.
They can all be found nice and easily right here: https://www.umass.edu/umfa/job-board. This website is constantly changing, as new jobs are opening up all the time. There are even more jobs available that aren’t on this list. Postings are available all over campus. The university is always in need of dining hall staff, bus drivers (yes, students can even become employed as student shuttle drivers), nighttime security teams, and much more. The best part about these on-campus student jobs are that the employers understand that you’re here because you’re a student and will thus never schedule you to work while you’re in class. They understand that you’re a student first, and they’ll always work around you.