This semester, I got a job for the first time in college and I absolutely love it. I have had many jobs before, just not during the semester at UD. I didn’t think I would like to work while I was also taking classes – I thought it would be too much to handle and that my already-high stress level would just blow through the roof. But I needed a job for the summer and my Mom encouraged me to offer to start working on weekends during the spring so that I could get some experience before summer begins. And, for more than one reason, she was right to push me.

I work at a restaurant on the canal in Lewes, Delaware called the Wheel House, and it is about an hour and a half away from UD’s main campus in Newark (that’s why I only work on the weekends and not during the week). The restaurant is huge and has a lot of outdoor seating with a beautiful view of the sunset. It has great food, a great atmosphere, and great staff, and I thoroughly enjoy working there.

I have never worked at a restaurant before so I was very nervous about starting. I was also nervous about meeting this huge group of new people. I am not usually very good at that. But surprisingly, I made friends quickly and everyone there is very nice and helpful. Right now, I am just bussing tables, but I hope to be a server eventually. I am very good at what I do and that is a great feeling.

That is just one of the reasons why I would encourage everyone to get a job while in college. A lot of people I know don’t want to have to juggle a work schedule and a class schedule. They just have to work so they can earn money, but there are so many other benefits to working. Even if you don’t get a job related to your major, it can still be beneficial. If you are just working at a movie theater or at a coffee shop or serving in a restaurant, you can learn life skills that will come in handy down the road. These include dealing with difficult people or just a good work ethic. If you work hard and put a lot of effort in, you will be good at your job. And if you are good at your job, you will feel accomplished, which is very important. Sometimes, college can be rough – you take hard classes that you aren’t necessarily good at, no matter how much you study, and it’s just frustrating and demoralizing. Trust me.  Having a job that you are good at can help you regain some positivity and confidence in yourself. It can make you feel appreciated and fulfilled.

A job also gives you a distraction from school. It is a different kind of distraction than Netflix or parties. It is a constructive distraction. It allows you to take your mind off of stressful school work or other stressful events in your life and completely immerse yourself into something you enjoy and something that makes you feel good, all while earning money. I have a long drive to work where I get to listen to music and just be by myself. It allows me to recharge after classes all week and before my shift begins. I work long shifts since I only work a few days a week and it gives me plenty of time to unwind from a long week of school. I get to have fun and joke around with my coworkers, as well as be outside. This is very helpful to me, being outside with fresh air and nature has a healing effect for me. My job also forces me to be very active since I have to run around a large restaurant carrying heavy bus tubs, balancing plates and glasses, and running up and down stairs. This is a nice refresher after sitting through lectures all week.

Overall, my restaurant experience has been amazing so far. I actually look forward to my weekends and don’t mind leaving campus to work. At this point in my life, it was just what I needed and I am very grateful for it.

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