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How to Make the Most Out of Your Summer Job

I’m here to give you a step-by-step guide on how to make your summer job the highlight of your college career

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the semester, the sun is shining and Charlottesville’s humidity is at 90 percent! It’s time to relax! Or, if you have a summer job, maybe not. For those of us who have to spend our summers working 9 to 5, summer might not be as relaxing as we would like. But, do not despair! I’m here to give you a step-by-step guide on how to make your summer job the highlight of your college career. 

Step 1 – Find a Slightly Mediocre Job

Do you remember your one friend from high school that worked a very understaffed, underpaid fast food job? That friend whose only personality trait was hating said job? They are the blueprint here. Sure, a highly-paid computer science internship that you can do from the comfort of your own home may seem nice, but a job like that would amount to nothing. Where is the struggle? Where is the strife? You need a job you can complain about. Ten years down the line, when your sticky little child tells you they do not want to go to school or they do not want to eat the food you put in front of them, you need to be able to tell them how hard your life used to be. You need to be able to tell little Timmy about how you had to spend a summer working at one of the restaurants downtown, constantly under fire from your barely-qualified boss or that one customer who consistently ordered the most bizarre thing known to man and was never satisfied by what they got. You, my friend, are a phoenix and you need to find ashes to rise from to further the plot of your life. 

Step 2 – Make a Work Friend 

Now that you are probably not having fun, you need someone to not have fun with. We will not be picky here. Carol, the 55-year-old woman with 10 cats who sits at the desk right beside yours, or Dave, the line cook on his third divorce, are both prime friendship material. You just need someone you can complain about this mediocre job with. Someone who feels like every single minor inconvenience is the end of the world and needs to be talked about. They will tell you stories about their inconveniences with plots better than some young adult novels and treat your feelings and frustrations as more valid than your parents ever have. You and your new bestie will carry the establishment you work at on your backs, all while ranting and raving about why you two are the only competent people within a five-mile radius. 

Step 3 – Tap into your Work’s Gossip Network

Just like the whispers of cooties and crushes in elementary school, the rumor mill at your new job is alive and well, you just need to find a way to tap into it. Here’s where having a work friend comes in handy. Your work friend has been working at this job for years and they know the ins and outs of this place, much to their own dissatisfaction. You need to find a way to get your work friend to realize you are not a snitch and would make an excellent addition to the underground gossip network. Maybe this starts with you confiding in them about how you overheard Dave from the kitchen is actually going to get a fourth divorce the last time you went back there to get a plate of salad for table four. Maybe you tell them you saw Carol has been using her work computer to chat with very obvious scammers who she keeps sending money to because they’ve been asking her nicely. Whatever your method, you simply need to give information to get information. Trade useless information like your ancestors once traded corn and firewood to survive.

You now have the foundation needed to make your summer job ten times more interesting. Wake up each morning at an ungodly hour, hit snooze at least five times before getting up and seize the day by romanticizing all your sorrows. 


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