Why I’m Applying to Minimum Wage Jobs (AKA How to Spice Up Your Life)

This summer, I am applying for minimum wage jobs, despite the fact that I am 24 years old with a full-time career and a full-time salary. For some reason, everyone around me seems to care approximately ten hundred times more than I do. Why is that? I wonder. “Mind your business!” I want to say. But in reality, I want people to ask why. So here is the why.

Currently, I am a relatively young twentysomething with a career that I could be in for the rest of my life. And that scares the shit out of me. I’m in a full-time job with a full-time salary. If I want to go for a coffee in the morning, I have the luxury of not needing to look at my wallet before I place my Starbucks order. It’s nice. It’s great. It’s wonderful. Except for one thing: my life right now seems so stale.

All of classmates are going all over the country this summer. Granted, mostly for work and career-related internships, but still. New York, Chicago, San Francisco. It’s amazing. A new adventure awaits each and every one of them, and yet, it seems like they are more concerned about what to pack in their suitcase then what to pack in their head.

Anyway.

Meanwhile, I will be right here…working the same job, in the same city, with the same people. The thing that’s strange about it is that I love my job, I love this city, and I love these people. So then why now am I feeling so stuck and stagnant? Maybe it’s because everyone else around me is moving so quickly with new internships or new post-grad jobs. Or maybe it’s because I’m finding it hard to see past graduate school. Or maybe it’s because this is my first full-time full-year job. I forget that other jobs outside of residence life (my only other full-time job) don’t operate on 10-month contracts. So I’m here for the full year. Two full years actually, until I graduate.

Is anyone else finding this extremely unsettling?! At least I have a two-year deadline. If I wasn’t in school, this could be my job for YEARS. Now that is terrifying. Is anyone else with me here? After undergrad, there is no more pre-scripted timeline. This or that for a couple years here, a few months there. Or maybe just this one thing for the rest of your life forever and ever until you die.

So let’s bring it back. Why am I applying for minimum wage jobs? Jobs that are seen as “meant for” high school or college kids? Waiters, baristas, etc. It’s because I am craving something different; my body is aching for a change. Much to the dismay of everyone else around me, I don’t need another job. I don’t need the money and I don’t really have the time…it’s just because I want something else.

What are some ways to maybe feel not so stagnant in every day twentysomething life? Great question. And one I’m still trying to figure out. So these tips are certainly not from an expert. Rather, just another twentysomething trying to figure it out.

Find Something You Love*
*outside of work. Yes, I know it would be ideal if we all LOVED our jobs so much that all we needed to be satisfied in life was to work every day all day. But unfortunately, sometimes, that’s not the case. So find something you love to do, really love to do, outside of work. For me, it’s piano. It’s writing. It’s reading. Since the end of the semester, I have done so much of these things and it is EFFING GLORIOUS. Find the time. Make the time. It’s so incredibly worth it.

Think of Someone you Love*
*that is not your cat. Yes, I know. Pets (especially cats) are really nice to come home to. Someone to cuddle with, talk about your day with, and sometimes even eat together. But there really is no substitution for human interaction. Some of us are lucky enough to have a partner to come home to every night. And that is amazing! But for the rest of us, think about who you miss the most in your life right now (yes, right now). And as soon as you finish this post (yes, finish first), go call that person. Show them you love them, that you miss them, and that they are worth your time. It will break up your scheduled routine and keep a smile on your face for the rest of the week.

Try Something New*
*-ish. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. One summer, I had the bright idea of learning how to pogo-stick. I have absolutely no idea why and there was no reasoning behind it. The only thing I gained from that experience was two scraped knees and a missing fifty dollar bill. So try something new-ish. It can really help to break up the routine and get you excited about life. For example, I have always liked to cook. But today, I decided to try and make vegetable chips for the very first time in my life. They are cooking in the oven right now as I write this…and I can’t wait. It gives you something to look forward to.

Any other ideas to freshen up the twentysomething life when it starts to look just a little too adult? Please share.

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