Dumber - I Mean Summer - Jobs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Ever since I was little, I have loved horses. Mychildhood was spent galloping around the backyard, dreaming of the day when Imight own my own horse. I loved to ride and brush horses, and I didn't even mindcleaning up after them. So when I got a job at a dude ranch in California, itseemed like a dream come true. I got to hang out with tons of cool people wholoved horses as much as I did and be with all the horses I had always dreamedabout. It was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I couldn't wait totell my friends about my great job.

The first thing they asked was,"How much money do you make?" I was shocked. Everyone asked me that, orboasted about how much they were being paid. Is money the only thing that mattersto them? It didn't even occur to me to consider a job just for that. Heck, Ididn't know what I made until I received my first paycheck.

It baffled me,and still does, that money is always considered more important than the jobitself. Of course, I understand that money is important, and that many teens needit to fund various interests, but wasting a precious summer at a menial job justbecause it pays better than something you would enjoy seems like a waste. Istrain to find the logic in working a job you will spend the summer complainingabout.

My motto has always been, "Find a job that you like first,worry about money later." I know the words "intellectualstimulation" and "teach you something" aren't normally a largepart of a summer-job seeker's vocabulary, but it's not as bad as it sounds. Mostof the time I didn't even realize how much I was learning. Summer jobs are aboutmuch more than money. They can affect your future career, as well as providevaluable experiences and life lessons.

So during next year's summer jobsearch, don't eliminate the minimum wage, "thinking" job immediately.There are some things money can't buy, and you don't want to go back to schoolwith an empty mental bank account.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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