The dreaded retail. Everyone who has ever worked retail probably utterly despises it, and for good reason. The pay sucks, the hours suck, you get crappy, snobby customers, and sometimes even crappier coworkers. Even though these are all legitimate reasons to never work retail, there are so many reasons why you actually really should.
Every day is a networking opportunity.
Working in retail means you are constantly driven insane by the hundreds of needy, whiny, usually rude, customers that walk through your door. But you never know who that 35-year-old acting like a 10-year-old could be. For all you know, he could be the head of a huge company, or even your company CEO.
You never know who you're going to help, and who will remember you, and this not only teaches you patience, but how to pretend you like someone when you actually despise them--a very useful tool when going into the workforce.
Discounts, discounts, and more discounts.
Retailers always offer their employees discounts. And, as ridiculously in debt, poor college kids, we can use any discount we can get. My first job in retail was at JCPenney, and they gave their employees 25-percent off of all merchandise. Period.
The best part is, it could be combined with rewards, coupons, sales, anything. You could get a $30 shirt for $10. You'll end up spending almost all of your check there, but hey, you have cute new clothes to keep you warm and happy while you go into more debt!
You don't have to rearrange your class schedule.
Most jobs, besides retailers, aren't very cooperative with schedules. And if they have set hours, you're royally screwed and have to rearrange, drop, or work around all of your classes. Ain't nobody got time for that. So go grab a job with Macy's and keep your perfect schedule along with it.
Bonuses and performance rewards.
Free stuff is a college student's wet dream, and with a retail job, you get bonuses and free stuff up the ying yang--bonuses for meeting goals, contests, etc. Plus, sometimes they have parties with free food.
There is a job for you almost everywhere you go.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of retail stores across the U.S. alone, maybe even more. If you have any experience with any retail store, it's almost guaranteed another one will hire you if you move. So bounce around all of the United States like the hippie you know you want to be; you just won't be as poor as one.
You will learn valuable skills.
Retail teaches you a lot of lessons besides how to use a cash register and fold t-shirts like a boss. While working in retail, you're definitely going to learn how to work on a team, how to communicate effectively, how to control your feelings (trust me, the crappy customers teach you how to deal with the real world better than any therapist ever could), and generally, it just makes you a better, more rounded person.
If you're looking for a side-job during college, look into retail. You never know where it could lead you.