8 Lessons You Learn While Having A Summer Job

8 Lessons You Learn While Having A Summer Job

"Why are mom and dad making me do this," quickly turns into, "Mom, Dad, Thank you for making me do that."
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A series of (what I thought were) unfortunate events led me to get a serious summer job my sophomore year of high school. I had worked summer camps and as needed jobs before, but this was much more serious. This was a show up six days a week job. That summer job quickly evolved into year-round employment that I've maintained for the past three years. Since starting this job, I have gained an abundance of friends, knowledge, and money. Today, I want to share with you some of the most beneficial lessons I've learned while working.

1. Time Management.

Most summer jobs make your schedule for you, so you are forced to become much more creative with the rest of your time. Summer is a time of distance and fun. You no longer see your friends at school every day, so you obviously want to schedule as much time together as possible. However, Mom and Dad also know you're home for the summer, so that handy to-do list is reborn. You quickly learn how to work, do your chores, and hang out with friends. This skill translates well over to school, extra-curricular activities, and homework. It's also a lesson you're bound to learn sooner or later, so why not just learn it now?

2. Politeness.

Respect your elders. The customer is always right. Work well with others. There are so many relationships in a job that would not succeed without the basic quality of being polite. Being rude to your bosses will quickly get you fired, but so will being rude to the public or the people you work with. My job has taught me how to put a smile on my face even when I felt like screaming instead.

3. Customer Service.

Most careers include a certain amount of customer service; pretty much no matter what you do, you're going to be working with the public in some way. Trust me, doing so has its ups and downs. Some days you may be incredibly frustrated with the dumb questions people come up with, but there are just as many sweet people you encounter. The good customers definitely make everything worth it in the long run, and they are the people you'll remember.

4. It never hurts to ask.

Most of the time, if you don't have the answer to something, someone around you does. Asking questions is a crucial part of team building, and we often find ourselves feeling too prideful to ask a question. Learning to ask questions not only keeps a business running and customers satisfied, but teaches a major lesson in humility. Always remember, it's better to be safe than sorry.

5. Thinking on your feet.

The manager isn't around, you're not authorized to give refunds, and a customer is complaining about undercooked meat. Without the ability to compromise and satisfy customers, the business could easily encounter major issues. From minor emergencies to major ones, working increases your ability to troubleshoot, deal with upset people, and solve issues; three skills which many people use in most areas of life.

6. Money management.

Balancing a register, completing purchase orders, and doing inventory are just some of the ways employees deal with money and numbers. You always think you'll never use what you learn in math class, but your summer job may just keep you wishing you had paid more attention in class. Not only will you be handling money at work, but you'll also be managing your own paychecks. You don't want to spend your entire check before the next one comes out, and you often need to put a certain amount into savings. Mom and Dad may be pushing you to be more independent now, so maybe you'll be responsible for your own gas and clothes. Trust me, that eighty dollar pair of shoes suddenly becomes a lot more expensive when you're paying for it.

7. Responsibility.

There's not always someone standing over you telling you what to do in the real world. You're responsible for showing up to work on time and doing your tasks. You'll probably only be shown how to do your work responsibilities once, so make sure you keep track of them. Ask for help if you need it, and make sure you meet all deadlines. If you have an issue with your work schedule or a deadline, contact your superior asap. It's your responsibility to take off when you need it, and no one is going to beg you to come to work. You're getting your first taste of the adult world at your summer job, and everyone around you expects you to act like an adult.

8. Inflection.

You must always realize that your job will likely be giving you recommendations later. You don't want to have done a poor job and be afraid to list that workplace as a reference. Everything you do at work may have larger consequences than typically seen. A good job can lead to a raise, but a bad job will easily lead to being laid-off. Even if you think you're being forced to get a job, always try your best. Your boss's opinion of you might get you the connections you need later. So always show up to work with a smile and push forward. It's all really worth it, I promise.

Cover Image Credit: Mic

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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You're Not Crazy, Your Seasonal Allergies ARE Worse Than They Normally Are

Between all of these symptoms, I've felt miserable the last week.

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We've all been waiting for summer to come, and it's finally on its way. I started putting away my jackets and heavy clothes, and I'm so excited to take out my dresses and bathing suits. Classes are ending for students and we can start the beach trips on these warm, sunny days. What could possibly be wrong with summer coming?

If you have seasonal allergies, specifically to pollen and tree-related allergens, you may be in for a real problem.

In certain states, especially in the northern and eastern US areas, the pollen count is at drastically high levels. So much so that people with only minimal seasonal allergies are having intense reactions, and people who didn't even know they had allergies are having their first reactions.

I've only ever had an itchy nose when seasons change, and only when standing in the middle of lots of plants that would aggravate it. I never suspected my allergies would be making me so sick right now until my physician told me what's going on with this season's allergens.

Since the pollen levels are so dramatic in New York right now, I've had sinus congestion so bad it turned into sinusitis, and a sore throat so swollen and painful I swore it had to be strep. The sinusitis was giving me fevers, aches, and chills, making me feel like I had the flu — all of this traced back to allergies. Between all of these symptoms, I've felt miserable the last week.

Once I started asking around about what my doctor said, several people have told me they're having the same problem with their allergies now. If you're suspicious you may have allergies, get tested and ask your doctor's opinion. It's best to be well-informed on your medical issues so that you'll be prepared if a bad allergy season comes along (like this summer).

If you want to know what the pollen count looks like in your area, go to Pollen.com and allow access to your location — it'll show you a map of the states and their current pollen levels, as well as a specific analysis of the town you live.

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