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The summer months are generally regarded as a period of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation for students of all ages. The hustle and bustle of schoolwork, athletics and leadership responsibilities have come to a halt, and many of us want nothing more than to spend time with friends or do nothing at all.

However, this dream of a summer free from responsibilities is often corrupted by working a part or full-time job. For some, working a ten-hour shift, five days a week is even more exhausting than writing an eight-page essay the night before it’s due or cramming for a final exam. Additionally, being stuck indoors while others enjoy the gorgeous weather is frustrating to say the least.

Although working during the one time of year that is not associated with schoolwork may seem dreadful, there are benefits of doing so.

The most obvious benefit is money. With the exception of some internships, if you work, then you earn money. It really is that simple. Although money is not the answer to all the world’s problems, having it allows us to make the most out of our free time, save up for future endeavors and/or pay for college.

With working comes productivity. Although a job-free summer seems appealing, boredom will almost inevitably occur at some point. Working full-time prevents sluggishness and guarantees staying busy. As an added bonus, free time feels special and is more appreciated when it is in limited supply.

Finally, working during the summer months provides a taste of the reality of being an adult. Most adults do not have the opportunity to take three months off from work to take a vacation or lounge in bed. A sense of maturity and responsibility should be garnered from holding a job, especially if the job is related to your major. By obtaining a job in the field that you plan on pursuing after graduation, you are gaining invaluable experience that will only serve to propel your future.

I obtained my first job during the summer following my sophomore year of high school. Although it was a low-ranking position that paid less than eight dollars an hour, this summer was the most fulfilling summer I had ever experienced. I learned how to work hard and persevere, which are necessary skills for success. I have worked summers ever since.

Although the benefits of working during the summer are numerous, it is important to also set aside time for family, friends and oneself. Balancing productivity and enjoyment is the key to a successful summer.

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