That time I started two jobs in one semester

Graphic by Dominique Barquero

Graphic by Dominique Barquero

Since my college years began, I’ve been lucky enough to have my parents provide for me. I am also very much an introvert and tend to keep to myself on campus. This is fine, but there comes a point in life where we all need to venture out, meet new people and do our part to make our own money. 

There was a time in college where I was unemployed, simply making my 40-minute commute to school and going home every day. This was my day-to-day life, and it was dull. I felt lonely, unmotivated and, honestly, like a bit of a loser. 

Eventually, I got a job at a coffee shop and stayed there for a while, earning a bit of money. One fateful summer semester, however, I started two new jobs and lived to tell the tale. 

I started summer classes, began working a job on-campus and was transferred from one coffee shop in town to another all in a matter of three days. I felt very overwhelmed, but somehow, I was ecstatic. I felt accomplished. 

As any working student knows, it can be difficult finding the right balance between work, school and any semblance of a social life—and you need to find the time to eat and sleep between classes and shifts, too.

Personally, I tend to get the pre-semester jitters. When a new semester is approaching, I think about new classes and the new faces of my future classmates. I also get a little excited about having more structure and routine in my life. 

At the start of that particular summer semester, I felt this but multiplied times ten. 

I was starting an on-campus job with all fellow college students and a job at a different coffee shop with other people who were also mostly college students. 

What I didn’t expect was to find such a great sense of belonging and develop such deep friendships with my coworkers. 

School is hard and work is tiring, but when you work with the right people in a tight-knit environment, you can thrive—especially when the majority of your coworkers go to school with you. 

I was so incredibly nervous, hoping to fit in at work and do my job well, along with being a good student, that I never foresaw the good aspects. I’m busy, yes, but it feels good. I feel like a functioning member of society, and I’ve made some amazing friends who make work almost fun. Complaining about school to each other is an added bonus. I’m more involved on campus, and I might even have more of a social life now, even with my busy schedule. 

My self-confidence also received a nice boost. I’m still very much introverted, sure, but I feel like a contributing member of society, slinging coffee and writing articles for public consumption. 

Something I learned from this is that we are all so much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. I never saw myself as someone who could juggle two jobs while being a full-time student; I tend to grossly underestimate myself.

I’m not saying that this is some incredible feat on my part, but I feel much more capable of things in general than I once did, and that is important. We need to give ourselves credit, and sometimes, that requires us to try new things and establish and accomplish new goals. 

To summarize, I was nervous going into that new semester, along with starting my new jobs all at once, but I did it. I really did not think I could. Not only did I do it, but I loved it and met some incredible people, all while handling my school business. 

The start of a new semester can bring about some jitters, but we have to remember that it is a new beginning with new possibilities.