I’ve now been home for a few weeks, and naturally the slow pace of regular life is beginning to feel repetitive. Lying out by the pool every day is relaxing, but I’m starting to feel downright lazy.
However, things are about to change because with no classes and no schoolwork, the inevitable summer job materializes. While a small portion of freshmen may be rocking a glamorous, yet laborious internship at Time Magazine or beginning their lucrative careers at Goldman Sachs, most of us – specifically those from small towns – are left with the not-so-dazzling options of scooping ice cream, waiting tables, or attempting to lasso an army of small humans at summer camp.
Unsurprisingly, when the once-in-a-small-town-world opportunity to work weddings at an amazing venue on the Chesapeake Bay arose, I quickly grasped it. At first, I imagined myself as a young J.Lo walking around with a Kate Spade clipboard, helping to pick out cake flavors and color schemes clad in a chic, grown-up J. Crew tweed skirt and flats.
Reality check time.
There is nothing glamorous about any summer job. Especially when you’re 18 with absolutely no relevant work experience. Maybe, if you’re lucky enough to snag an internship in a bustling city then it’s different. But for me, and all of my hometown friends, a summer job is just something to keep us busy in the summer – and maybe a way of making some money to fund our food escapades during the school year.
I wear a tux. As in a men’s tuxedo – tie and all. I have to wear my hair back. I’m on my feet for a minimum of ten hours (working 3:00pm to 1:00am). I carry trays, serve guests hors d’oeuvres and dinner, and clean up messes. By the end of the night, my feet hurt and my arm is sore. But it’s still awesome.
Weddings are my favorite. I’ve always had this unnatural obsession with weddings, beginning with my first Martha Stewart Weddings magazine subscription in the 8th grade. I even made a fake TheKnot account so I could plan my future wedding. I’ve researched venues, watched every cliché wedding movie that Hollywood has produced, and endlessly dreamt about holding the coveted wedding planner position in my future.
My summer job may not be anything remotely close to J.Lo’s character’s career, but I still get to “attend” a fabulous wedding each Saturday. I get to learn about the wedding industry as an insider, giving me a new perspective on everything that is necessary to make that special day so very special. From refilling water glasses, to making sure the napkins are exactly one thumb-length from the edge of the table, I’m learning what it’s like to start at the bottom. But I’m 18. It’s OK.
So many college kids are so concerned about what’s next. It’s as if we spend all of high school worrying about college, and then all of college worrying about our future careers. But we’re still so young. Most people don’t have internships yet, and those who do might not even know if they’re starting in the right industry. If we’re all being honest, we have no idea where we’ll be at graduation – or 10 years later.
For many, this might be your last summer at home. Enjoy it. Scoop ice cream, wait tables, give kids an amazing summer experience. Don’t worry. You’ll be working in an office in no time. One day, maybe I’ll be J.Lo. But for now, I’ll just enjoy my summer.
Anyway, who doesn’t love watching a perfect sunset over the Bay every Saturday? (even while wearing a baggy men’s tuxedo)
*** sorry no pictures today! Can’t exactly pull my phone out on the job. But hey, here’s a quick photo I snapped of the view from one of the ballrooms. Who wouldn’t want to have a wedding here?