The two standard ways for F-1 students to get an off-campus work authorization are called "curricular practical training" (CPT) and "optional practical training" (OPT).
Every F-1 student has a total of 12 months of OPT eligibility. Most students use their OPT allocation for jobs or internships during summer break, or they save it for a "real" job after graduation. You could also use your OPT for a part-time job while classes are in session. If you work below 20 hours/week, you only lose half of your OPT eligibility. (In other words, 12 months full-time OPT = 24 months part-time OPT.)
However, you cannot use your OPT until you have finished your first academic year in the US.
What do you do if you want to start working right when you get to college? Your only option is through CPT. CPT is meant for work that's essential for your college degree. For example, students who are studying nursing or teaching may have required internships for their degree. CPT can be used for those.
In their first year, most F-1 students can only earn money on campus. If you can find a job for the community college or with another company that is physically located on campus and serves the college community (e.g. a privately-owned cafe on campus), you can work there with no extra work authorization.
These rules are in place because the US government does not want foreigners to steal jobs from locals. International students are welcomed because they contribute money to the local economy, through tuition payments and living expenses.