About the author: Gracie is Emily D’s other [more fabulous] half. She has a passion for cupcakes, music festivals, photography, and fashion. In her free time she eats chicken nuggets, keeps up an eclectic and wonderful tumblr, and likes to plan ahead for fun Halloween costumes.
7 days a week, 2 jobs, 4 classes, 40 hours working, 12 hours learning, 10.5 hours studying. That, folks, is a typical week in the life of a Workaholic Student. When I’m not in class I’m at World Market. When I’m not at World Market I’m at Firebird’s, and when I’m not at Firebird’s I’m at the library or in bed.
Since the age of 16 I have tried most every field of work an undergrad could possibly get in to. The first, and the place I found my calling as a customer service specialist, was as a cashier at a sporting goods store. I can’t help it– I’m a people pleaser, and I love to see my customers leave with what they came for with a smile on their face.
Following my first job, I spent a short amount of time over the summer in 2010 trying out a few other fields of work. I did my two weeks time as a waitress at Applebee’s (5 choices under 500 calories!), one day in a dentist office as an office/hygienist’s assistant (drilling teeth makes me queasy), and a week as a filing assistant (I can do complicated alpha order in my sleep). I also had the best month of my life over Christmas Break working at World Market. Then I found my second calling: dealing with grumpy, hungry people and guiding them to the plush booths of Firebird’s Grill. I get paid to dress in cute fashionable clothing, aka pushing the dress code as far as I can, and I get the latest of the gossip from Godwin/Deep Run High Schools.
Alas, I was sucked back into my niche, the world of retail, at none other than World Market. I was born to cashier. Aside from my station behind registers 1 and 3, I have also become official Chalk Board Artiste, if you will, for the promotional board we keep outside the store.
Between being #1 cashier and most fashionably adventurous hostess, I’m a full time student at VCU.
Often I get asked, “How do you do it? Two jobs and finishing homework can’t be possible.” Au contraire, it can. I use my breaks at work to do my homework, and any time between classes is spent in the library making flashcards or reading and typing up answers to response questions/writing response papers.
The good news is that when I get home at night, I rarely have homework because I get it all done at work or before work. My downtime is at 10pm every day. I take this time to snuggle with my kitty, catch up on the Kardashians, and run my dishwasher and laundry machines.
Prior to being a Workaholic, I was just another college student: head full of mass media and pop culture, naps between classes, and tons of time with my friends. Now I barely know what’s in and what’s out, naps are a luxury for my occasional day off every other week, and I see my friends once a week at most (unless you’re Amber, my workaholic best friend and fellow cashier/hostess).
This may seem like a lot, but I wouldn’t trade it in for a typical college lifestyle. I love being so busy, having a set schedule, and being able to pay for things myself. Yeah, I miss out on some things like VCU Hockey games and staying out late on a Friday night getting shwasty (is it still called that?) but sleep > parties when you only have 12 – 15 hours between shifts. I’ve always been one step ahead of where I am – college mentality in high school, now “real world” mentality in college. It must come from having an older sibling and wanting to be at the same point in life as she is. It’s become a joke that I’m in a relationship with my jobs. But really, where am I going to find a boyfriend who gives me money for clothes and cat food in exchange for all my free time?