Is Working Over Winter Break Really That Bad?

After a week of finals, projects, and utter chaos that drains us of any life, we all want to go home, binge watch Netflix, and just lay in bed for the entire six week break. But at the same time, it’s such a long period of time that it’s hard to even think about what we’re going to do; the possibilities are endless. You can travel, meet up with old friends, maybe pick up a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. But for me, I’m going to put my apron on, wash my hands, and get right back to work as a barista at a Barnes and Noble Café. Sure, some people think that working after such a stressful quarter may not sound like the best use of all of your free time, but to me, it’s exactly what I want to do.

I love my job. It was really the first official job I had that I actually enjoyed a lot. Sure, I babysat, and helped to manage a salsa stand during farmers markets, but it just didn’t feel as real as this one, and I simply didn’t like it as much. I remember my parents nagging me to get a summer job right before college, to “do something with my time” and to “start saving for college”, and I remember feeling annoyed and pressured. I was about to move 1,969.6 miles from home and my parents just wanted me to throw myself into work? Come on.

But once I got the job, I never felt more excited. It felt great to be working for something, to feel fulfilled and like I was doing something important.  I loved seeing the look on customers' faces as I handed them their drink, or having conversations with the regulars about what was going on in their lives. At first, it was a little bit difficult to pick up on everything, remembering the correct amount of pumps in a venti, and what the abbreviation for a triple mocha frappuccino was, but once I did, it was almost like it was a part of me. I liked the thrill of working in a fast-paced environment and being so active in what I was doing; that’s how I realized I would absolutely HATE working a desk job.

I think that the best part of the job is how much you interact with people, and how it teaches you life skills that you can carry with you. You have to learn how to deal with difficult people, but you also get to meet very kind souls that you wouldn't find anywhere else, like my coworkers. I remember the day before I left for college when I was filled with anxiety about what my future had in store for me, my coworker handed me a present, which ended up being a book that would become one of my favorites, with the most thoughtful note, wishing me the best of luck, and it meant so much to me. I knew that the relationships that I made with these people will continue on, even as I moved across the country.

So I’m ready to roll up my sleeves, and get back to work because I know that every drink I make, every customer I interact with, and everything that I do is helping me mature into a better person, and I’m growing because of it. I really can’t think of a better way to spend my winter break.