Trying to decide whether or not to get a job while you're in college is a really tough decision to make. You want to really be able to focus on your school work and get good grades, but you also want to be able to have some extra cash to spend too. How do you decide whether or not to get a job? Personally, I think having a job during college is great. It helps you develop strong time management skills and gives you experience outside of school. However, having a job may not be for everyone and should be considered carefully. I'll share what I think is best and a timeline of how I've seen many students balance school and a job.
First semester: Get a part time job that is 6-10 hours a week. This is most likely the transition stage for high school students into college, and for many it can be very overwhelming. If you have to worry about your classes, homework, roommates, AND trying to fit a ton of work hours in, chances are you aren't going to be a very happy camper. If you were awarded work study in your financial aid package I would highly recommend taking advantage of that. UMR has a lot of options to offer for work study jobs and all are very flexible with hours.
Second semester: By now you have a decent grasp on how to handle your classes, but you still probably don't have the greatest study schedule down (if you're like me anyways) and still don't want to overwhelm yourself by adding more work. I would recommend staying around 10-12 hours a week.
Third semester: You've finished your first year, had a nice summer break, and are ready to get back into the game of tackling your second year. You have a pretty good idea what to expect this year and probably have some better study habits down. However, the second year at UMR can be pretty difficult for many, so I would recommend sticking to 10-12 hours of work a week still.
Fourth semester: Now you probably have a really good idea of how you like to study, what time of day you like to have classes, and when you function best. This is an exciting semester because you're finishing up those first two years of core classes and are starting to plan your classes for the direction you want to take as you move on in your academic career. As far as your work life goes? I wouldn't do more than 15-18 hours. This is probably where I would max out at working until you have a really strong feel for how much you can handle. Remember, you're most likely going to be involved in clubs, volunteering, and other opportunities as well and you want to be able to make time for yourself too!