To My Friends in College…

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you all for making it through another semester, even if it was the hardest one yet. There’s nothing more relieving than knowing that finals are over and a break awaits you. However, it seems as though a majority of you are not proud of yourselves due to your grades, how you handled the semester, etc. You should be, and here’s why:

I know most college students strive for the 4.0. It’s the magic number that basically guarantees you a spot in the school of your choice if you plan on transferring. Unfortunately, not everyone will achieve this. It doesn’t matter how hard they try, they just can’t do it. That’s okay. Showing up to class on time and putting all of your effort into your education is what matters. Knowing you put every ounce of energy you had into that final, that lab, or that paper, that’s important. Not everyone is cut out for a 4.0. It’s the truth some may not want to accept, but you can’t run from it.

You are trying. You are waking up everyday and doing your best, studying hard, and working your ass off. Some of you may even have jobs, and that’s even more reason to be proud! Students can get so caught up in each other’s grades, they forget their own. We are all unique and made differently. There is no right or wrong. Do your best and if you failed, at least you can say you gave it your all and move on.

Grades are important but they do not define your character or work ethic. Intelligence can not be determined by a multiple choice quiz. Put your best foot forward every day and accept yourself, flaws and all. It may take some time but you will get there. You are important.

Even when it seems no one is proud of you or how hard you worked, I am. I hope you all enjoy your summer and continue to work even harder in the fall. Good luck. 

Lessons I’ve Learned From Retail

Currently it is 5:15 in the morning and I have not slept even a wink from the previous night. Working two retail jobs is slowly, but surely, taking over my life. Though exhausting and sometimes irritating, I’ve learned a lot from working with the public in a retail setting. I believe everyone should give retail a try at least once, because you truly won’t understand it until you’ve done it. With that being said, here is what I have learned from working in retail.

1. Not everyone is a kind person. Do not take it personally. 

I go into one or both of my jobs everyday and do my best to be nice and helpful to customers out of pure sincerity. You could be the most helpful, wonderful employee in the world and there will always be someone who treats you worse than dirt. At first it might come off as shocking, but unfortunately it is a part of life that you will just have to get used to. This is a great experience, however. Nothing will teach you to be a kinder person in everyday life more than being treated like you are below standard. 

2. Remain calm in stressful situations

Hell hath no fury like impatient customers. More often than not, retail stores are understaffed for the amount of people they cater to. If there is a large sale going on with only two registers and three employees, there is bound to be delays. Unfortunately, people want attention and they want it now. It is important to remain calm even if the line is out the door and each customer has the look of death. If this is their worst problem in life, they have it pretty good. Keep calm and scan on. 

3. Some customers will never be satisfied (and that’s okay!)

Between how the store looks, or the amount of products you carry, or if you’re similar to me and work in food also, someone will always have a problem somewhere with something. I know it seems annoying, but it is a part of the job. Doing your best to be as kind and considerate as possible makes a huge impact on your character, even if it goes unnoticed by the customer. Don’t look for anyone to praise you, 9 out of 10 times nobody will notice how hard you’re trying. It is vital that you try your best anyway. 
4. Effort is important

Though some might think retail work is menial, it ensures a great work ethic, people skills, and job experience. So while even if it seems mindless to constantly ask customers for a rewards card, or ask if they need help, or even dusting a shelf; it all means something and it is important to always take pride in the work you put forth. One day it’ll all be worth it.

So don’t for a single second thing that your job doesn’t matter. It absolutely does. You should be undeniably proud of what you are doing. Being a productive member of society is never a bad thing! Good luck and never give up. 

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