Broke college student isn't a title I like to carry. In order to offset my many expenses (don't discount tuition), l got a job. One of the most popular jobs that college students get is serving. I currently wait tables at an Asian fusion restaurant five days a week, and I make more than enough money to cover my expenses. Fair warning, serving isn't all rainbows and sunshine, and it's not meant for everyone. Although I was able to handle it, I wish someone had given me some heads up before becoming a server.

If you have never served before, here are 7 things you need to know before tying that apron around your waist.

1. Tips = Income

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Anna Arteaga

Serving does not give you an hourly wage; that $2.50/hr you get (depends on state) is completely taxed which means your entire income is made up of tips. Your income is not guaranteed because surprisingly enough, a lot of people don't know how to tip. It usually stems from the fact that they don't understand that you pay your bills entirely off of tips.

2. Choose the Right Restaurant

Your take home depends on the type of restaurant you work at and the prices. Tips are dependent on a percentage of the bill which is usually from 15-20%. If you serve a table of 3 people with drinks at a decently priced restaurant, the bill will be around $60. If they tip you appropriately, they will leave you $12. But if the restaurant you work at never has a bill above $25, your tips will be a lot less.

If you can, avoid a restaurant that's a college student mecca. Similar to teenagers, college kids are notorious for their measly tips.

3. Serving People

At a restaurant you will get all types of people (for convenience I ranked from best to worst):

· >20% tipper

· Understanding people

· 15-20% tippers

· Drunk people*

· Impatient people

· Rude people

· People who come in unhappy**

· <15% tipper

· People who don’t tip at all***

· Teenagers****

*Depends on the type of drunk they are and how well they tip you. Sometimes they're friendly and tip well or they're creepy and leave you practically nothing.

**Don't come into the restaurant unhappy because nothing your server does will brighten your mood, and it makes it awkward for your server.

***I think the lack of human decency is self-explanatory.

****Not only will teenagers not tip you, they will run you around, be super picky, and make a huge mess.

Because of the number of people you serve on a daily basis, odds are you will deal with every single type of person. Prepare yourself. In a business where you have to work for a tip that is not guaranteed, your behavior determines your tip so even if they are being a major pain in the a**, internalize your anger and smile.

If you would like a more thorough explanation of the worst types of customers check out: 7 Types of Customers All Servers Hate

4. Running Around

You know the saying you feel like a chicken with its head cut off? Well in my experience serving, you really do. Some nights I am just flying back and forth between tables, the kitchen, and more tables. It is non-stop madness for a solid 6 hours. Sometimes if you work all day, you have a lull in customers that allows you to relax and recoup.

5. Stress

This goes hand-in-hand with running around because the fast-past, quick-turn around environment creates a stressful atmosphere. Last summer, I was so stressed from work that I wasn’t eating much and kept losing weight. At the time, I was a  a teeny bit, secretly happy about it, but losing weight in that way was not healthy and I couldn’t control it.

Not to mention, just because you get off of work at 11 pm doesn’t mean you can go home and just fall asleep. (If you can, I am #superjelly) My body physically won't relax since I am wired and still stressed. I get so high strung that it takes more than a few breathing exercises to relax my body.

6. Hours

This is a major factor. Serving isn't a classic 9-5 job, but it’s convenient for a college student because you can go to class during the day and wait tables at night,.

But that also means most nights you will be working instead of partying or hanging out with friends. Although I pay my bills, I feel like there is a huge deficit in my social life. I don't have the time to hang out with friends like I used to. When I'm not serving, I am doing school work.

#SpoonTip: Check out working laws for your state because not all states are legally required to give you a break depending on the number of consecutive hours you work. 

7. Say Goodbye to Your Weekends

Weekends are prime-time for servers. That is when restaurants are the busiest because people let themselves splurge on weekends. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are the days that I make the most money.

Sure, spending a Friday night out with my friends sounds amazing, but bringing in $200 Friday night sounds even better (sometimes).

Like any job, there are pros and cons to becoming a server. You just need to weigh your options and decide what works best for you. If you decide to do so, check out this article on How to Be a Kickass Server to Get the Best Tips! and How Working in a Restaurant Changes the Way You Dine Out.