Fast forward

Last week, I read about an impossible feat. The Globe and Mail interviewed Sean Aiken, the author of One-Week Job. Aiken, a business school graduate, wrote about his experiences working 52 jobs in 52 weeks—one job for every week of the year.

Besides thinking about how great all his experiences must have been and the fact that he donated all his earnings to charity, I had to think, how the heck did this guy manage to get 52 jobs?

This seems close to impossible, especially considering the stress many of my peers and I face each year just to find one summer job. It’s the last week of classes, and as a result everyone seems to be preoccupied with how they will spend their time after exams are over.

In a way, Aiken’s experience was the perfect resumé builder; who wouldn’t want 52 different jobs to show off to future employers?

Close to everything we do seems to contribute to our competitive edge in the job market as many students are constantly working, volunteering and joining countless extracurricular activities. Once we arrive on campus after Reading Week, everyone seems to be dusting off their resumés and asking how they will spend the upcoming summer break. Upon thinking about what the heck I was going to do this summer, I realized we have constantly been questioned about our futures.

From the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question in elementary school to the “Which university will you go to?” question in high school to the present “What will you major in and what do you want to do with that?” question, thinking about the future even a few months ahead becomes stressful.

My anxiety doesn’t cease when everyone from my cab driver to my bank advisor seems to be asking about my summer employment plans. All these questions spur me into thinking I constantly have to be doing something, that if those four long months of summer break aren’t spent doing something productive that—what, exactly? Will the world end?

So I had to think: If I had all the time in the world and no obligations, what would I want to do? Would I go on a road trip to a random city with my friends? Go bungee jumping? Learn to scuba dive? I’m a lot less anxious thinking about that than about when I will hear back from potential employers, if at all.

Maybe instead of feeding our anxiety, we should focus on what we want to accomplish during our summer break instead of what we think we have to accomplish. I don’t think worrying about getting a summer job is going to get me one any faster.

Besides, if Sean Aiken can get a job every week of the year, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

If not, then I’m sure my future book, One-Week Slob, will be a bestseller. Right?

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