Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Break is time for more than just vacation

Summer is on the way. Temperatures are well into the 80s, and the school year is drawing to a close.

So what should students do with all of their free time during the coming months? Many families will have vacations planned, but that will only cover a week or two. For younger kids, their days can be spent at a myriad of summer camps and other activities. Parents can look at our Summer Fun listings in Wednesday's paper to get some ideas if they don't already have a plan. But what about teenagers? Some may be content to sit at home and play video games, but we suggest a summer job.

Summer jobs do not just get teenagers out of the house. Teens also learn a sense of responsibility and get their first taste of money management when they have the opportunity to earn money themselves. Some may choose to use their money to buy items they want, such as video games, music, movies or other entertainment items. Others may save up for bigger purchases, such as computers, cars or even college. But whatever the money is used for, the process of earning it can bring teenagers a sense of pride and accomplishment.

We encourage students who are old enough to work to take advantage of the summer break and find a good, productive job. Companies are looking for part-time help all across the area. Even the city of Victoria is ready to hire students. According to Jennifer Sourdellia, communications assistant for the city, in this week's City Corner column, the city needs employees to help with all kinds of summer events, from lifeguards at the pool and staffers at the Lone Tree Creek splash pad to summer sports leagues and Market Days.

Teens can also find jobs all over the community. Of course, the typical food service or retail job is an option, but many students don't know how many diverse resources they have available to find something unique for the summer. Try asking personal acquaintances to see if they know of any companies looking for temporary help or offering summer internships. If students have a career path in mind, they can also search for opportunities to observe or find part-time work in their chosen field. By doing so, they will be able to earn money while exploring their career options and making valuable connections for later in life.

Finding a summer job can be a difficult process, but it is worthwhile, and we encourage students to step out this summer and enter the working world. It may not be as easy as hanging out at home all vacation, but it can provide valuable experience and also help teens mature and learn responsibility. At the very least, they will have some extra cash.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.