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The Best and Worst Summer Jobs

I always hated when people above the age of twenty-five complained about life moving too fast and hangovers getting worse, but I never thought it would catch me. As a rising senior in college (5th possible 6th year option with franchise tag available), I feel like I got roofied by life recently. I mean, Jesus fucking Christ, my Mom just asked me if I would chaperone my sister and her friends at Gov Ball this September. Thinking about my little sister going to the same event where like four of my boys rolled molly for the first time is an absolute mindfuck. At my age, people will put a lot of pressure on you to land a summer internship. I’m at the point in life where my Instagram feed is about to be pictures of girls in the city they’re living in this summer with a caption along the lines of, “Nashville I’m not worthy 🥺.” If you landed an internship for this summer, hats off to you. I started as an intern for TFM last summer, and look at us now…we sold six of these.

But I don’t think anybody should feel pressured to work somewhere just to add some experience on their Linkedin. I don’t judge a twenty-three-year-old for scooping ice cream or working at a summer camp, and if you do, you’re a pompous asshole. I’ve been working summer jobs since I was fourteen, I’ve worked plenty of them, so from my experience here’s a list of my DO and DO NOTs for traditional jobs you might see a college kid working for beer money.

DO NOT: Cutco

For those of you unfamiliar with Cutco, consider yourself lucky. But if you have a friend, or have had a friend that started selling Cutco knives for beer money, listened to too much Gary Vee’s podcast in his car, and is now a walking Trevor Wallace skit, I feel your pain. Cutco is a knife company that basically makes Sam’s Club esque knives. In all honesty, the knives are pretty high quality, but it’s their marketing strategy that makes them the absolute worst. Cutco buys information for seventeen to nineteen-year-olds from shady date-brokers, recruits kids who just graduated high school, and gives them insane commission on sales. Which, you guessed it, would lead any eighteen-year-old with a dick and a Linkedin account to believe that they’re the next titan Chamath Palihapitiya (king). I can’t shame Cutco guys for scheming money off their friend’s rich parents, but I draw the line when they refer to themselves as entrepreneurs. Guilting bored suburban women with Xanax prescriptions and this sign hanging out in their yard isn’t entrepreneurship

it’s stealing candy from a baby. Fuck you, stop trying to guilt my Mom into buying your shitty knives. 

DO: Summer Camp

The only place where there’s more sexual tension around a bonfire at summer camp is in the counselors quarters. Unless, of course, you’re working at a boy scout camp. Yeah… don’t fucking do that. You may think working at summer camp is a job meant for girls, but that’s where you’re wrong. From experience, I can tell you being a straight male working a summer camp is shooting fish in a fucking barrel. You’ll be using the CPR training way more once the kids have curfew instead of the cafeteria. And let’s call a spade a spade. If a kid has a nut allergy, he kind of deserves what’s coming to him. No seventeen-year-old is about to play doctor on something covered in snot and sunscreen. If you have even a little bit of patience with children, I can’t recommend this job enough.

DO: Drive Doordash

You can literally make just as much as any of the minimum wage employees on this list, AND you can make your hours. Odds are, seventy percent of you reading this right now didn’t completely pay for the car they’re driving, so who gives a shit about the deteriorating value. It’s quick, it’s easy, and if you like driving, it’s enjoyable. 

DO NOT: Ice Cream Parlor

You know what might be considered an unpleasant work environment? Working in a goddamn refrigerator the one season, you’re getting sunburnt on a boat all day. I’ve never worked this job, but I can’t imagine how sore my wrist would be. I get fatigued after two minutes of fingering someone, I don’t think I could handle the Sherbert line at 7:30 on a Friday. If I’m going to be cold and pale, I’d at least want to work somewhere that can give me a little more than minimum wage. 

DO: Beach Lifeguard

I’m hesitant about whether this should be a “Do” or a “Do not.” If I’m considering this as a do, I’m considering this the worst do on this list. This is the Daniel Jones of summer jobs. It’s not great…but it’s not terrible? I worked as a beach lifeguard for two summers. Whenever the experience wasn’t great, it was completely of my own doing. Staying up drinking until 3AM every night is not ideal at a job where you have to swim in cold water every morning. As a beach lifeguard, this job will keep you in shape. It was the only thing that combated the four cheesy gordita crunches I would crush the night before. If you’re from the midwest, you will not understand this one that much, so I’m sorry. Lifeguard “teams” or whatever you want to call them also have great camaraderie. It’s like one big family where you have to be a dick to little kids minding their own business outside of the green flags. The worst part of the job is by far the tole sitting on a wooden bench all day will have on your ass. I went home every day feeling like I had ass-scoliosis; it’s awful. 

DO NOT: Pool Lifeguard

You are a sitting insurance policy. The job is fucking brutally boring. We use solitary confinement as a way to punish people that murder, so yeah, I don’t think sitting in a chair all day telling kids to stop doing backflips is worth twelve bucks an hour. If you have already accepted this position, I will advise to find a rotation of podcasts IMMEDIATELY. Maybe even mine. 

DO: Drug Dealer

Flexible hours? Check. Avoiding taxes? Check. Having more on your cashapp than your friends do in their bank account? Check. Sure, there’s some assumed risk in this line of business, but if you can be sharp and get over that hump, it’s probably the best summer job you could ask for. Your office is your Snapchat, your “high-tempo marketing strategy” is you digging your hands through a pirate-booty-sized bag of weed, and your demand is always high. There’s no asshole boss and unlimited sick days. Pretty fucking sweet. 

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