Student opinion: Summer jobs offer lifelong skills but fill summer schedules


Many people think of summer as a time to relax, go on vacation, hang out with friends and play sports. But not everyone’s summer is filled with fun activities because of a summer job, and this job can come with many ups and downs.

Despite cutting into the time for relaxation, summer jobs offer multiple benefits. First, there are many valuable skills to be learned during a summer job. Time management, organization and teamwork are just some of the skills that can come with it. 

For example, this summer I worked at Oxbow Living Center, an assisted living center in Ashland, Neb. This job taught me how to communicate with my coworkers as well as how to communicate with the residents. I also had to make sure that the eight-hour shift I picked up wouldn’t clash with my other priorities. Sooner than later I figured out that Monday afternoons worked out best for me each week. This way I was dedicating a consistent amount of time to something I signed up for. Both the communication and time management skills I practiced will be highly beneficial when entering the adult working world one day.

However, summer jobs aren’t only filled with positives. Being a high school student involved in athletics or fine arts can take up a lot of time. Besides working at Oxbow, my summer was filled with select softball, weight training, open gyms, basketball leagues and a nannying job. In addition, I wanted to be able to spend time with friends and family. 

Because there were so many things I needed to get to, I had to find some way to keep track of everything. To manage this, I put everything that I needed to attend into my calendar app, which kept me organized. At times it bummed me out that I couldn’t be with my friends while they were out doing something fun, but it made the times I got to be with them even better.

Time with friends brings up another positive of a summer job, which would be the pay. With a job, money was a huge benefit. Being able to have the choice of spending or saving the money I made by myself was the best part of the job in general. Asking my parents for money to go out with friends is something that I always felt guilty about. With a job now, I can have the independence to make those decisions for myself. 

In the end, summer jobs might cut into relaxation and can come with challenges, but with some time management and creative solutions, summer jobs can really pay off in the long run.