At 15, I got my first job.
It was not because I had to, or because my mom “made me,” but it was because I was a hard worker and wanted to earn something for myself.
The first 15 years of my life, I was completely dependent on my mother to provide for me, which was fine, but I wanted to have something that was just mine.
Going to work at an early age provided me with a new, different environment with various types of people that I did not interact with on a daily basis.
At that young age, it was enlightening to experience relationships with people I never expected to.
Outside of the pleasure of work, I was not just a kid who wanted to spend my money right away on the newest games or clothes. I just started saving and setting goals for myself, which surprised my mother because I was so young.
All through high school I worked, while also being a successful student and an athlete. It did not bother me. Working did not make me fall away from my studies, or fall out of any relationships.
I just enjoyed staying busy, continuing to work, to have something of my own.
Fast-forward to college. My first year I was playing volleyball, taking classes full-time, and held three part-time jobs, and my grades and bank account were looking good.
This past summer, I only had one job, but I worked about 50 hours a week. I was saving money, paying off my credit cards, and getting a head start on my student loans.
By the end of the summer, I was able to truly have something that was mine. I was able to buy my own car, and it was incredibly satisfying.
Fast-forward to college now. As a sophomore, I am a triple-major taking 18 credit hours, have three part-time jobs, play on the intramural sand volleyball team, take part in four clubs, act as treasurer in one of them, and still maintain healthy relationships.
Now, the question that people always ask me when they find out everything that I am involved in is “How do you manage all of that at the same time, and why?”
The answer to “how” is just the fact that I am driven.
I like staying busy and when I have various tasks at hand, I am my best self. In high school, I worked multiple jobs each year, but that was just because I wanted to. Now, it’s a combination of me wanting to work and needing to work.
Getting older means taking on more responsibility. I have to pay for, gas and food, along with credit card, car, and student loan payments. I also feel it’s important to put some money in my savings account.
One of my jobs on campus is a work-study, and I only make around $9 an hour, with minimal hours a week. At my other job, I make $10 an hour, also about 10 hours a week. Lastly, at my third job, I make $14 an hour, about 5 hours a week.
I work roughly 25 hours total. With the wages I make and the hours I receive at each job, I must have three jobs.
But contrary to an outsider’s beliefs, I do not dread working. I enjoy it. I am at my prime when I work.
I look forward to paychecks because I do not just spend all of my earned money on clothes or other material items, but look forward to making those payments and continuing to build upon my level of responsibility.
So in the end, the answer to the question “Why?” is that I am truly just a nerd who loves school, loves business, loves interaction, loves experiences, and thrives on showing myself that I can balance all of my priorities.