With summer rapidly approaching, high schoolers are looking forward to a variety of things- no more school, sleeping in, going to the pool, and all of the other fun activities that come with summer. And while all those things are still true, many high schoolers over the age of 16 have another summer activity on their plate: a summer job.
The 16th birthday as it opens up a whole new realm of possibility with a car. You can now drive yourself and don’t have to rely on mom and dad to get you places. It’s liberating. But from personal experience and in talking with others, it seems that since you can now drive, you can drive yourself to a job.
Now this isn’t to say that a summer job is a bad thing. They’re useful. They’re a great way for teenagers to start earning money for themselves so that they don’t have to live out of mommy and daddy’s checkbook. Summer jobs help teach responsibility and accountability without all the pressure of a full-blown career. So a summer job is actually a good thing to have. But between you and me, they’re not all that interesting.
A common first job during the summer is working at Hy-Vee. I myself, a senior, and Haley Wineman, also a senior, have worked in the hospital-white building that is Hy-Vee as a part time employee. She said “Hy-Vee is alright because you get paid better than minimum wage,” but that she is excited to have already quit because “HyVee gave [her] nightmares.” I’m hoping she was joking.
Senior Max McCoy gets a solid 40 hour workweek from Wilderness Ridge Golf Course. Max said that despite only making minimum wage he likes, “being out in the sun on a nice golf course, not really doing a whole lot of hard work.” I, too, recently picked up a job at HiMark golf course and I can say I’m looking forward to the sun a lot more than the shelves of Hy-Vee.
And while most jobs are simple, senior Jon Green has taken on a more difficult one through his connections at UNL. He works on a summer crew that goes through the dorm buildings and does maintenance work. He, like Max, works at least 40 hours a week. Doing such a time consuming and occasionally difficult job, Jon said that, “even though the job can get hard, it’s the people I work with that make it worth it.”
So as summer approaches and perhaps you look towards a job, there are a few things to remember. First off, don’t be afraid to go out and work. Earn your own money. It feels good. Secondly, work hard. Practice how to be a good employee. And lastly, remember it’s not your career so if you don’t love it, no worries.