BY TAMARAH WALLACE
While summer vacation is typically a time for fun in the sun and restful relaxation, some Cooper kids took it upon themselves to do a little more than usual with their 104 days.
“I wanted to help out my mother with the bills but also gain some independence,” senior and Chik-Fil-A cashier Agustin Olivares said.
Teenage summer jobs are not a rare occurrence and actually take summer vacation back to its original agricultural purpose, wherein students were initially released from classes to aid their parents in the harvesting season. Since then, the break was kept in order for students to essentially “refresh” their minds before another portion of schooling.
Today, many students from across the United States engage in summer occupations and the Cooper City Cowboys are no different.
“It’s a great way to keep busy, have fun, and make money,” senior and Camp Sagemont counselor Gaby Sumpkin said.
Popular summer occupations range from summer camp counselors to fast food cashiers to interest-specific internships and usually pay teens in either monetary wages, service hours or experience.
“When I turned 16, I was eligible to work as a paid counselor,” Sumpkin said. “I’ve always loved working with children and because Sagemont has been my summer camp since I was little, I already had a lot of relationships and memories from there.”
Summer jobs can also serve as a way to meet new people and can facilitate new experiences. They can serve as a window into the field of a student’s choice and prepare them for the occupation they would like in the future.
“I think it’s a great way to experience having a job and to see the inner workings of a restaurant company,” senior and Cinnabon/Auntie Anne’s employee Jude Miles said. “I just wanted to get experience with working in a company.”
Furthermore, they can aid in halting the compelling wonders of procrastination. Usually, during the summer months, it is typical for teenagers to want to relax without doing much of anything taxing. However, some students are adamant about wanting to gain knowledge and certify their experiences for when they apply to colleges in the future.
“I got a summer job because I wanted to be productive during the summer,” Miles said. “In order to complete the Academy of Finance program, I needed to complete an internship project. This pretty much meant I needed a paying job and to reach a total of 150 hours by the end of summer.”
While summer jobs can have many benefits, they can also come with challenges. At times, students can be treated with a lack of respect by those who believe they are more inexperienced than their older counterparts.
“Sometimes my manager doesn’t respect me like I think she should,” senior and Burger King cashier Pamela Sanchez said.
Other drawbacks could include mediocre pay, uncommonly late or early hours, and decreased time for other conventionally “fun” seasonal activities such as swimming or hanging out with friends.
Yet despite the perceived unpleasantries, students seem to be using summer jobs as a way to learn and ultimately enrich their lives.
“I would definitely recommend having a summer job to anyone who is not busy or preoccupied with other responsibilities during their summer break,” said Miles.
Featured photo by Thomas Emoff