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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

Almost a year ago, I wrote an article about my experience as a manager at 19, so here’s a little update for you all about that summer job. I quit right after the fourth of July. 

June

I had just returned home from summer break, and shortly after I came home, I began working on my summer courses. I was awarded financial aid for these courses; this was my first time taking classes over the summer. It was a simple, nearly cost-free solution to wrapping up some of my upper-division general education requirements. So, completing a semester-long course in just five weeks would’ve been extremely difficult while working full-time at the waterpark. I communicated with my supervisors that I could only commit to working the weekends for June. 

My weekends dragged on, and this time around, I could tell that my commitment and motivation to my job had changed.

  • I’d show up to work more irritated than usual.
  • I was disengaged and would mentally check out more often.
  • I put in little to no effort with my job, and I often found myself saying, “That’s not in my job description.”
  • I cared more about just making sure my admission staff was taken care of and didn’t care to entertain or impress my supervisors. 

At first, I thought I was just burnt out. I had gone through my second year of college and returned home immediately to work on two summer courses while attempting to hold down my summer job. So I thought I just needed to make it to July. Once I finish these courses, I can spend the final month of my summer just saving as much money as possible by working at the waterpark.

July

I had returned for my first day as a full-time waterpark employee. It was a Thursday, and I hated life at that point. I tried to keep telling myself I had to make it to August. So Thursday went by, then Friday, then Saturday and my final day was a Sunday. 

I didn’t intend for that Sunday in July to be my last day. As exhausted, stressed, and angry as I was during everything that had happened the previous three days, I still pulled myself together and showed up on Sunday. I spent that Sunday contemplating all the pros and cons of leaving the waterpark for good.

  • My younger brother also works here. Would they treat him differently?
  • Would I be financially secure until I went back to school?
  • It would feel amazing to finally have a real summer break where I wake up and do virtually nothing all day (something I haven’t gotten to do since my junior year of high school).

I had gone back and forth with numerous thoughts all day. Towards the end of my shift, I came to the realization that I had outgrown working at the waterpark. I had been working there since high school; it was fun and fascinating when I was 17, 18, 19. But I’m about to turn 21 and couldn’t keep doing this anymore. 

I remember making the shift schedule for the next day, and I put myself on the schedule, thinking I could pull myself together and do another day. But when I clocked out and went to my car, I knew I wasn’t coming back. Monday morning came, and I received text message after text message, call after call. My supervisors wondered where I was. I had never been late for a shift before. Part of me didn’t want to answer their calls. I didn’t want to hear a sob story about how much they valued or needed me because if that were true, they wouldn’t have treated me the way they did, and they would’ve seen this coming from a mile away. I did receive a text from one of my supervisors, the nicer one, and I decided to respond to her. I was clear about my intention: to never return to that place again. I briefly explained some of the issues I was having and chose my words carefully, not to sound too accusatory (even though I wanted to). 

We both said our peace, and that was it. 

I don’t regret my decision, and I understand that not everyone can just up and quit like I did and that there’s a level of privilege to quit on the spot. I simply want to share my experience with others and express to everyone that you need to listen to your body and mind. Never overwork yourself for a job. 

Starr Washington is a member of the Her Campus National Writer Program, contributing to the lifestyle vertical. She also serves as the President of the Her Campus Chapter at her university. Currently a senior at San Francisco State University, Starr is pursuing a degree in Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) with a minor in Africana Studies. Following her undergraduate studies, she plans to pursue an MFA in creative writing. Starr is dedicated to showcasing her blackness in her professional work and is always rooting for black creatives, particularly in film, literature, and travel. In addition to her writing, Starr works at her university’s multicultural center, where she organizes annual events for both the campus and the Bay Area community. She was a speaker at the San Francisco State University Black Studies Origins and Legacy Commemoration, where she had the honor of sitting alongside the founders of the country's first Black Student Union. Starr teaches a course she developed called “Intro to Black Love” within SFSU’s experimental college program. In her rare free time, Starr enjoys chipping away at her TBR list (she finishes one book, then adds three more to the list), writing poetry and fiction, and spending time with her music enthusiast partner and their three-year-old German Shepherd. She is a Scorpio from Michigan.