A Taste of the Working World: Lessons from my Summer Job

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     The first day of summer vacation is always pure ecstasy; the comfort of sleeping as long as you’d like, the warm weather, and the pleasure of spending countless hours with friends, without the stress of school. A great way to keep yourself busy all summer, meet new people, go outside your comfort zone, and earn yourself some cash is to apply for a summer job.

     A summer job can benefit a high school student, as it integrates a teenager into the workforce. Experiencing the atmosphere in which people practice  specific professions can shed light upon the true dedication and efforts that people put into their occupations.

     This past summer, my parents suggested that I apply for summer jobs in the Oak Park area, instead of sitting idle at my home until my 5 p.m. soccer practice rolled around. After many Google searches, recommendations from friends, and handfuls of emails, I got the opportunity to work as a camp counselor at Legacy Sports Camp. I was scheduled to work for six hours a day at St. Luke’s School, Monday through Friday. 

     My first day on the job, I was a little nervous. The head counselor had been working with Legacy for six years, and he had founded his own basketball league for elementary and middle schoolers. The first week on the job, I followed orders and copied what my co-worker did. At the end of the week, I was overjoyed to receive my first paycheck—it was one of the first times that I could buy whatever I wanted without having to use my parent’s money. After that first week, I had finally found my place. On the last day, I was sad to see all of the kids leave the building.

     Working a summer job teaches valuable life lessons. Working provides face-to-face interaction with different types of people and enhances social confidence. High school students can learn necessary life skills, like time management and responsibility, in a working environment. 

     Not only does working a summer job teach a myriad of skills, but it also builds character and a sense of belonging. When working a summer job, one can recieve a preview into how exactly the working world functions on a day-to-day basis. 

     A word of advice to anyone who is considering applying for a summer job: do what you are passionate about. Try different types of jobs in different fields of work. This is a great way to find out whaat you could be interested in in the future. Becoming involved in the community, taking on some responsibility, and meeting new people is a fun way to spend your summer!

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