How a Summer Job Helped My Mental Health
Summer break means a lot of free time, which can give people a chance to relax after a stressful school year. It’s important to be able to take time to recharge, and it can help people prepare for whatever next year will throw at them. However, summer break for a lot of people also means getting a job, which can be draining, but also can be very rewarding.
For me, having a summer job was almost a psychological necessity. I found that when I have nothing to do during the summer, my mental health can greatly decline. Although I might hang out with friends or be able to binge-watch as much TV as I want, those activities can only last so long before i start getting down on myself due to a lack of motivation, laziness, and overall a sense of failure and lack of fulfillment.
Basically, I didn’t really want a job, but I also didn’t just want to sit around.
I’ve had a job every summer, but also found myself dreading them. I wasn’t interested in anything I was doing, and found myself with the same lack of fulfillment and feeling of laziness.
So when searching for a job this summer, I made sure to search only for things that I knew I had an interest in.
I’m still in high school. It can be difficult for high-school students to find jobs that match their specific interests because a lot of jobs require the applicant to be 18 and/or have a GED/high school diploma (or sometimes even higher education)—but it is possible. I was extremely fortunate to find a job working around heritage and art with kids, and so far it’s been a blast! The job is a lot of fun, so I no longer dread having to wake up and go to work, and I even find myself learning a lot from the experience.
One tip I have for finding a job around your interests would be to make connections. “Networking” can seem daunting, but it could be just emailing someone and saying that you’re interested in their line of work, or going to events during the school year and meeting other people who have similar interests. When the time comes and you’re looking for a job, you’ll always have that connection you made. Even if you can’t get that specific job that you want, chances are the connection you made has some other connection that can help you out.
Another tip is, if possible, try not to worry about how much money you’ll make. This is more pointed towards high schoolers, because, hopefully, you’re able to find a job without having to worry about money too much. Try to have a fun job while you still can, but hopefully you’ll be able to do something you love even when going into adulthood.
Have you had a summer job you really enjoyed? What are your tips to finding fun, fulfilling jobs?