I have many flaws. I have a lot of pride in the weight room (I’ll never get over the fact that I’ll never be able to overhead press my body weight unless I go on steroids), I procrastinate and whenever I stress out I basically shut down. I have many more—but, my least favorite flaw is that I’m a workaholic.
My name is Katii Sheffield, and I’m a workaholic.
I have three jobs, but being a server at a family priced restaurant seems to take up most of my time. Ever since I began working at the restaurant my freshman year, a conversation with one of my friends often goes along the lines of: “Hey, do you want to go to (insert something fun here) at 7 p.m. on Friday?” I’ll groan: “No, I have work.”
Meanwhile, one of my conversations with one of my managers goes something along the lines of: “Hey, can you pick up Friday at 5 p.m.?” Me: “Yeah, I guess.” Every time I get ready for a shift, I wish I were doing something more fun with my friends.
So why do I do this to myself? I take pride in my work; I’ve been fighting for fiscal independence from my parents since I was 16 years old. I loathe having to rely on others for money or being in debt. And now that I live off-campus, I’m fighting even harder to prove than I can be fiscally independent.
But that’s not the reason I’m a workaholic. It’s because I like coming out with a wad of cash and a handful of change at the end of my shift. I like seeing the numbers in my bank account rise. I take pride in that growing amount of money I’ve been putting aside for life after graduation.
But I also hate that. I’ve become reliant on what I make shift to shift. While most jobs pay every week or two, as a server, I get a paycheck nearly every time I work. Instead of waiting for a paycheck, I can burn money the moment I get off the clock.
I’ve become impatient about waiting for my money. I’d rather have a small amount now instead of a large amount in two weeks.
What a terrible way to live.
No longer do I want to come in for more than I’m scheduled for. No longer do I want to work weekends. I want to break this vicious cycle I’m in. I want to change. But I’ve been saying that for two years.
Don’t be like me. Don’t come into work just because your manager calls you; they can call other people. Go out with friends. Don’t live by what is in your pocket by the end of the night, wait for that bi-monthly paycheck. Or else your college memories will soon be filled with spilled coffee and broken plates. That’s not what college is about.
Maybe I’ll even listen to me.
Contact Katii Sheffield at firstname.lastname@example.org