Summer break? What's that?

The weather may be warmer, the sky may be bluer and the water parks may be running full force, but when you have a summer job, it's just not the same as it was when we were kids. Eight in the morning becomes sleeping in, and a ten minute nap on your lunch break becomes the most vacation you've had all week.

Is it worth it?

For those of you considering picking up some hours this summer, I present to you a list of things to consider before accepting employment.

Let's start with the obvious:


Pro: You have more money.

Plain and simple. Your bank account will thank you, especially if you have bills to pay. Not to sound like a dad, but the best thing you can be doing for your future self is stashing most of the money in your savings.

Whatever amount you can afford to hang onto, do it (but be sure to treat yourself to some Chipotle every once in a while)!

Con: You have less time.

Also plain and simple: You'll probably see your work family more than your actual family if you're doing it right. If you already have a busy summer planned with trips or major events, it may be best to hold off on working until next semester.

It stinks having to watch your friends travel the world while you're stuck at work, but don't let it stop you from sticking to that grind. Unless you're taking summer classes -- then, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Pro: You make new connections.

Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, you'll have to learn to get along with them. Fortunately, I lucked out with the best coworkers I could ever ask for at my summer job. We look out for each other, and they have helped me out in more ways than one.

Minimum wage jobs may seem like they aren't worth it at times, but trust me, you'll never forget the friends you met along the way. You never know who knows who or where someone may have a connection!

Con: You can't make last-minute plans.

"Want to get some food later?" Can't, I'm working.

"We're going swimming today if you want to meet us!" Thanks, but I have to work.

"Let's hang out tonight, I'm bored." Sorry, I work.

You get the point -- maybe tomorrow (you know, if you're not working).

Pro: It maintains routine.

Some people, myself included, need a routine to feel productive. If I sleep in until noon, I feel like the entire day has gone to waste. This could partially be due to the fact that work gives me purpose, but it could also be because I have no idea what to do with myself when I'm not busy.

You get used to waking up, getting ready, doing your work, coming home, showering, and going to bed. Anything differing in between, like a morning where you normally go in at eight but don't have to be in until ten, will throw of your whole day.

Con: You still have to wake up early.

If you don't have to wake up early, you'll be getting home late. If there's an in-between, you likely won't have time for much else. Waking up at 5:30 a.m. every day for high school made me the type of person who could sleep until one or two in the afternoon on weekends and breaks (you know, back when staying up late was cool).

Now, everyone calls themselves a "grandma," and I'm lucky if my body lets me naturally sleep past seven on my days off. Going to bed early is a must when you have to be on your feet physically, mentally or both the next day.

Pro: You have less laundry.

For the most part, especially as a student, you'll likely have to wear a uniform. Whether you're working in food service, retail, or on campus, you're probably going to have to wear some strange fitting polo.

The more time you spend at work, the less clothes you'll have to wash. I love my summer job, as it has taught me that there are worse things in life than wearing khakis (like doing three loads of laundry per week).

Con: You can't wear your normal wardrobe.

This one depends on the job. If you luck out with a position that doesn't mind what you wear, put your whole closet to good use: all the power to you!

However, if you do have to wear a uniform, going out with your friends (or anywhere that isn't work, really) feels like a luxury when you can wear your favorite shirt again. By the end of the summer, you'll be picking out an outfit for class and saying to yourself, "Oh my gosh, I forgot I even had this."

Pro: You learn what a small world it really is.

As mentioned before, you never really know when someone will have a connection to someone you know or to an opportunity you've been trying to find. Talking to your coworkers and superiors makes work feel a little less like work!

Con: ...You learn what a small world it really is.

The downside of a small world is making sure you're being careful with what you say. It may just seem like break room gossip when you're venting about some drama in your life, but you never truly know who is listening.

Coworkers may seem removed from the situation since they're new to you and you feel like what happens at work stays at work. It's weird seeing them outside of your shifts, kind of like seeing a teacher outside of school.

However, it's best to leave the gossip to late night chats with your best friend; avoid getting yourself into an awkward situation and stick to positive vibes at work.


Do you think a summer job suits you?