Why work? That is my thought on some days. It is like the age-old question, why go to school? The answer is always the same to better oneself for the future.
Why do I want to better my future when I am content in the moment? Why earn my own money when I have parents who work and are wiling to provide for me? These are all questions that I ask myself every summer before I roll out of bed to start another workday, knowing that I have friends who don’t work and will not be up until noon.
The answer is simple my parents feel that it is a good reality check and a good builder of character. By working I am proving to them that I am willing to take responsibility for myself, and that I am now grown enough to take action and accept reality in the work force. In the summer my mom does not wake me after I turn the snooze button off. This is my time to prove that my parents did a good job parenting me thus far.
Every summer I also ask myself what I would do if I did not have a job? The idea is always a tempting daydream, and then I realize I would be bored out of my mind. A person can only relax so much before they go insane. Plus, living off my parents all summer for everything would get a little old for both of us.
Most kids dread their summer jobs. As teens we are not exactly offered the fun, posh jobs that we idolize. Most employers are willing to offer bottom-of-the-barrel jobs to teens. They are the type of jobs that make us dread waking up to the alarm every day; they make us really appreciate that pay check at the end of the month. Teens get the jobs that make them want to us want to spend another four-eight years in college.
Summer jobs, such as working the slime line at the local cannery or picking up garbage from our roadways, are really what drives us to better ourselves for the future. They teach us work ethic, a sense of pride and most importantly, responsibility. Summer jobs make studying for finals seem like a walk in the park.
Without these highly prestigious jobs that teenagers seem to land during the summer months, we would not appreciate the plush jobs of the future. Every teen who has worked hard all of their life and not sat around all summer looking for a handout from mom and dad has the ability to do great things in their life.
Parents who have the idealism that working is not for their teens because they have their whole life to work are really holding their teen back from a bright working future. These teens are also at a disadvantage; they do not have the customer service skills, hard work ethic or appreciation that many young adults learned through hard, tedious work as a teenager.
These parents are also putting complete control over money on their teen. I like being able to buy things on my own with or with out my parents thinking it is a good idea. Having my own bank account with money that I have earned has allowed me to appreciate the money that my parents make much more.
Why work? I work because I want a future. I do not want to be living off of the government, but be a contributing American. Earning money now does not sound that appealing, but next year at college it will be nice to be able to provide myself with life necessities. Working now as a teen is molding my work ethic for when I will be working a 40-hour week in the future.
Meggie Steinbeck is a senior at Kenai Central High School.
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