Summertime and the livin’ ain’t easy

By Catharine Hernson
September 5, 2002

Summer is about having fun, not working. So why, as smart college students, do we feel it is necessary to have a job? I worked nearly everyday myself this summer, for no real reason other than I felt as though I was needed. It hurts me to look back on all the things I could have done and didn’t because I had to work.

Every year around March, businesses open their eyes to new applications for summer workers. Every year some young kid just at the legal working ages is suckered into their first summer job. Some start at supermarkets, others in offices doing filing, some find jobs at the mall, and others somehow get away with mowing a lawn or two for a couple bucks a day. The first of my many summer jobs was actually in the New Castle County Sheriff’s Office. I worked for the sheriff, as what they like to call a clerical intern. Basically I filled summonses for two and a half months of my short life.

There were even better jobs that followed, too many to talk about. It sounds funny coming from a 20 year old to have had “too many” jobs, but I like to keep things fresh.

In high school most my friends had the same job for almost all four years. They stayed in touch with their employers through the school session and went back to work the next summer. I on the other hand hopped from job to job looking for the right one. I still don’t think it exists, I don’t really like to work. In 7 years of being legally allowed to work in the U.S. I have worked a whopping total of 15 jobs, a little over a job every six months. That might be a problem.

The best job I had was, no there was no best job. They were all fun while they lasted and I wouldn’t say no if I was asked to come back, unless something better came along.

I had a good job as a deli clerk in a supermarket in my hometown, they liked me there and I liked them also. I even liked slicing cold cuts for the old folks who came in on weekday mornings. I was all ready to go back there for another summer when I decided to stay living up here instead.

So it was time to find another job. My mom was really happy about it, or not so much. “Why do you have to get a job up at school?” “Because I need to make some money.” “What do you need all this money for?” “I have to eat somehow.” “You could stay at home.” “No.”

Needless to say my mom did not like me not living at home for the whole summer, but I did go home and visit her all the time, for dinner at least once a week or maybe not that much.

So I wasted my life away at another summer job, that I enjoyed and might do again next year. The only problem is I want to go places, I don’t want to be stuck.

There were so many trips I could have gone on, not that the job held me back. I could have taken a day or two off to go if I wanted. But it is hard to do in the summer because everyone else wants to take off too. And sometimes you just have to suck it up and stay working. Maybe next year I’ll get to Virginia or New York or wherever the road takes me.

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Catharine Hernson

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