At the end of the day, you need some perspective
As with any job, employees made a hobby of bitching about how much everything sucked whenever there was time to be killed. But even back then, I realized how lucky I was when I saw some of my friends slogging through summer gigs at car washes, shoe stores, and nursing homes -- jobs that came with constant moisture, gross feet, and both at the same time, respectively.
I knew how good I had it: I worked outdoors, 30ft from the beach, with dozens of other kids my age. At night, I’d usually leave with a wad of bills as thick as my science textbook. Sometimes, I ate free lobster. In college, I got a B.A., followed by a career that has literally nothing to do with anything I studied or was exposed to during my tenure at my rural Pennsylvania campus. I’m obviously thankful for the opportunity to gain a college education, but I’m even more thankful for the actual skills I learned breaking my back for Bennies every summer for four years.
The old deck was unfortunately decimated and destroyed in the fall of 2011 by the winds and waves of Hurricane Sandy. Sometimes when I’m back in Jersey, I head over to the old spot, and take a look at the rubble. And now, as I see a new structure going up in its place, I can only think about returning as a tourist myself one day. Tipping the bus boys an extra few bills, and maybe cracking a Sopranos joke. I think I’ve earned it.
Just need to pay off these student loans, first.
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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. Please send any belated tips or student loan donations to @wilfulton.