If you get Work Study where government subsidizes your wages, go to the school’s career center early and start calling those Work Study-eligible employers. The better-paying work study jobs are taken very quickly. Work Study does not limit the wage you make. The employer can always pay you a higher wage. I worked at Harvard Law School for $8.50/hour my freshman year even though Work Study’s starting wage was only $6.xx. My job was exciting while my friends were stuck cleaning rooms and washing dishes.
Don’t feel bad if you can only find dorm-cleaning or dishwashing jobs in your freshman year. Good jobs are often taken by upperclassmen because they found them before they left for the summer, or they qualify for research or classroom assistant jobs. Things will get better for you next year!