Summer jobs look different for everyone. If you’re a teacher, it’s a vacation that might need to be filled with more work. If you’re a college student, it could be an internship to help prepare you for your future career. It could be the job you hate in the town you grew up in that you swore you’d “never go back to.” If you’re a sluggish fifteen-year-old kid, it could be a job bussing tables at a restaurant on the boardwalk, and if you’re me, you’ll spend the summer trying to prove you’re better than that kid who’d rather be catching waves or riding around on their unlicensed moped.
According to indeed.com, the leading employment website, a summer job can allow you to bolster your resume, expand your skill set, earn extra income and meet new people. They suggest reaching out to those you know to improve your chances of securing a job, looking specifically for seasonal work and not to limit your options, as there’s opportunity everywhere. A piece of personal advice: if it doesn’t work out, remember that it’s only temporary. Summer jobs are designed to be abandoned. At least until the following year.
These summer jobs are an adventure! A good way to make money, make friends and eat up time that would otherwise be spent doing absolutely nothing. Yet, more often than not, that “good” money never quite seems like enough for the physical and emotional effort you put in and those “friends” are sometimes chain-smoking dishwashers who you’re worried will follow you home at the end of your shift. However, I can’t envision a way to turn the whole “wasting away your summer” thing on its head. You spend the school year picturing a relaxing three-ish months. Wasting away in front of various bodies of water. Going on trips. Dedicating time to hobbies that have sat dormant long enough to no longer be considered a “hobby.” Spending time with your family and friends that you feel like you never see anymore. What you don’t picture is the time in between, where you feel like you’ve done nothing, will never do or achieve anything and on top of that, you feel guilty about wasting precious time. Instead of thinking about your impending doom, you use the good ol’ trick of manual labor. It’s more difficult to be negative when you’re too exhausted to form coherent thoughts or sentences.
A summer job is meant to fill that void.
The question of “So, what did you do over summer break?” can’t always be answered gleefully by everyone. Especially Drexel students who’ve survived past their freshman year. Your “summer job” is most likely the job you’ve had for the past three terms, just in a warmer climate. Maybe it’s your co-op that you’ve already settled into from the spring or maybe it’s no job at all because you’re too busy being a full-time student.
Summer is exciting because it marks a new chapter in your life. If you’re still receiving an education, it means you’ve survived another year, passed another milestone and you are that much closer to the finish line. As a kid I loved throwing my red folder, which held 5 papers maximum, into the closet at the end of the year where it would remain until the very last minute. Summer meant camp and crafts and the lake. Sunburn and mosquito bites and the smell of campfires. The only people who loathed the idea of several months without school were these kids’ parents. I’m starting to feel as if the magical “lure” of summer dims as you get older. When you’re no longer nine but nineteen, you miss school and friends and the routine you’ve so finely curated over the past 10 months in the city that you chose. Summer becomes less of a welcomed break and more of an interruption. A job helps distract—and it’s always nice to see a paycheck with your name on it.