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The Penndulum

The Penndulum

Senior Summer: Work, Friends, or Both?

Brittany Brown
Local ice cream shop The Hickory Stick

As summer is nearing, a bittersweet feeling rolls in for seniors. It’s the last season before real life kicks in, and every moment spent with friends feels extra precious. You’re trying to make memories that will last, but there’s also a nudge to get a summer job and prepare for the future. It’s a tug-of-war between living in the moment and setting up for what’s next.

Kate Unzicker, a senior who will attend Virginia Commonwealth University next year, is experiencing the exchange about working her summer job as a cashier, ice cream scooper, and dishwasher at Downtown Scoop in Souderton. When asked her opinion about whether her job would ruin the last summer before going to college, she said, “It does worry me that I will spend too much time working over my last summer with my friends, and not have enough time to hang out with them. I also worry that if I don’t work enough, I won’t have enough money for college.” Without a doubt, the last summer with your friends from high school before everyone moves onto their next steps either at college, the workforce, or the military, brings on a lot of sad emotions. To replace the feeling of missing the people you grew up with, high school seniors are focused on making the most of their time with friends and making happy memories that will last a lifetime. Having a summer job may add to the anxiety about losing time with friends.

Putting the emotions aside, there are many obvious benefits to working a summer job before leaving for college. Kyle Richards, a senior who works at Grandview Hospital, mentions, “If I want to pay for anything, I’m willing to sacrifice this time for a more enjoyable time in college.” While it may seem daunting to spend the majority of your summer working, it will likely pay off in the end with the many experiences, money, and skills gained. It is known that teenagers who have work experience gain more confidence through their success, are provided with better time management skills, and have a leg up in life over those without work experience.

One problem that arises if you decide not to get a job during the summer, is not having enough money for college. Living on your own can be challenging in many ways, including financially. Whether you need money for necessities, food, new clothes, or other reasons, it might be hard to find a job in a college town that fits with your course calendar. That’s why taking advantage of a job before you go to college can help set you up with extra money. Richards explains, “There was never a time where I experienced not landing a job. All the jobs I applied for were currently hiring people like me.” One piece of advice is to apply and begin working at your earliest convenience because some employers eventually stop hiring seniors if they are going away too soon like Unzicker shared, “I just recently applied to a job that turned down my friend because she was leaving too early for college.”

When weighing the pros and cons of getting a summer job as a senior, prioritize what is most important to you and find that perfect balance between setting yourself up for success and enjoying the last few months with your friends before moving on to bigger and better things.


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About the Contributor
Kendall Posey, Student Writer
Kendall Posey, Grade 12. Interests/hobbies include lacrosse, reading, traveling, and cooking. She is the captain of the lacrosse and cross-country teams and is involved in NHS, Key Club, and Executive Council treasurer/president. Kendall plans on attending a four-year college, hopefully in Boston, to study mathematics or statistics.

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