During the past two months I have devoted what seemed like an endless number of hours to you. Always working at random times, usually ones vastly different than my friends', for a paycheck that's basically cut in half thanks to taxes. But other than missing out on most aspects of a social life, you were never all that horrible. I gained a lot more than just minimum wage from you.

The whole concept of working over the summer was horrendous to me. Miss out on my beach time and being with the friends I haven't seen for a majority of the year? Yeah, no thanks. Who needs a job when you have relatives slipping you $20 bills whenever you see them? But eventually I had to face reality and do something worth adding to my resume, so I got a summer job.

I felt like an idiot for the entire first week because I didn't know anyone and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. It seemed like the only time people would talk to me was to tell me how to do something the right way. But after a while, I started getting the hang of things, and I made some friends, but I still feel like the new girl sometimes. I've only been around for two months, I still don't know every single detail of things because there will always be a rare "for instance" situation that I was never prepared for. But I'm here to learn, and also to do something more valuable with my time than watching six different series on Netflix.

Honestly, I almost quit that first week. I was so not prepared for the shock of nine-hour shifts every day after never working more than six hours a week. I was convinced everyone hated me and that I would never get anything right. But then I realized that in the real world, beyond lowly summer jobs as a broke college student, you can't just walk away when you're struggling. I wasn't going to be a quitter; I was going to sit out and not let them get the best of me.

No surprise, I survived (well I still have two weeks left but I'm being hopeful). Sometimes things happen, and I don't have the slightest clue how to handle them, but there's someone who does, and they don't mind helping me. I became a part of a team, and even though I don't always feel like I fit in completely, I know I've been accepted. And even though there are days where I would rather be anywhere else, I still find myself smiling at the end of the day, no matter how late it is.

There are always going to be challenges and things you don't want to do in life, but everything is a learning experience. I've got a lot more respect for other people who have my job and have learned how to deal with the general public a little better. I earned my own money that I haven't had a chance to spend beyond my own employee discount and a greater appreciation for the days I can sit around and do absolutely nothing.