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Summer Employment Options and the Respect They Earn

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Intern Tavi of Study Party Die fame.

As June comes to an end and school has officially wrapped up for the year, summer is upon us again. No longer are the days of diligent “studying” during the school year, nor the late nights of “hitting the books.” Instead, college students find themselves pushing their limits in different ways–finding summer employment. So it will be both informative and necessary to turn our attention to the options that college students face when it comes to how they want to spend their summer break.

Power Ranking College Student Summer Employment Options


It may seem funny to begin with unemployment as an employment option for students, but we all have a friend who doesn’t seem to need a summer job. Instead of working all summer, this college student travels, visits their friends at school, bums around at home, and generally proves that maybe money does grow on trees. One week they’re in Europe, the next they’re hitting the bars in their hometown. Either way, they’re not working, and they’re certainly not looking for work.

“Looking for a job”

Don’t be fooled by how this one is phrased: “looking for a job” means “I was too lazy to start looking for work in May when I should have and now I casually scroll through in the mornings when I wake up, which is usually around 1pm.” The college student “looking for a job” isn’t getting any looks for companies because their work timeline hovers around “like a month or two until I go back to school.” Yeah, good luck.

Minimum Wage Job

The minimum wage job is the classic summer job. You come home and work at some restaurant, store, or local business near home and make decent money. When you live at home, these jobs can sustain a decent flow of income. Yes, the wise student would put this money to the side or pay off student loans, but let’s be honest–these paychecks might as well say “beer money” right at the top.

Unpaid Internships

The unpaid internship is how the US Department of Labor actively turns a blind eye to unpaid child labor. When you have inexperienced student-workers who are eager to work for a company, you have the archetype for a hardworking employee who works for free. All these students want to talk about is how much experience they’re getting, how they get to work in a real work environment, and how great this job looks on their resume. What they don’t tell you is that they are miserable getting up every morning at 7am to put on a collared shirt and sit in an office all day long. Congrats! Welcome to the corporate workforce. All of the fun of the office with the added benefit that you don’t get paid. Yay!

Paid Internship

Students with paid internships on the other hand love to reassure you that they are getting paid for their internships. Doing bitch work around the office is all worth it when you get a decent salary–not a bad gig. Paid internships are pretty hard to find; you usually have to know someone in the company. For the sake of argument, let’s say your rich daddy gets you a paid internship at some big corporate office, and when someone asks you what you do, you say: “I don’t know. Uh, I make coffee runs.” That pretty much sums it up.

So these are the basic options for students during their summer break. Whatever you may choose, at the end of the day we are all just counting down the days to the degeneracy during the school year that we know and love. Happy summer!

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