The battle to make bank over break

Everytime a school break comes around I’m left with the question —  “What’s going to hurt the least?”

On the battlefield between my logical voice and my inner lazy-girl monologue, the pros and cons form and clash, making me go back and forth about which should win the battle. 

“To work or not to work?” That is the question. 

Logic states that I should get out of the trench of blankets and go make the necessary money and network needed for my future. It’s thinking that delayed gratification is good and generally more successful than whatever instant-gratification-lazy-girl is offering. 

However, the lazy-girl monologue has a much more alluring tone. It sees how lucky it is to have the choice to stay in the ditch –– or not face the battle at all –– and fully takes advantage of it. It offers copious amounts of sleep, blankets, time to read, freedom and the peace you so desperately seek after grinding all semester. 

There are no 4:55 a.m. wake-ups to make it to an opening shift. There are no customers, obligations, forced politeness to rudeness. There’s only a simple blankness to recharge. 

Sadly, there’s also an empty space in your bank account. 

pros and cons of working during break
A “Yes, we are OPEN” sign. To work or not to work was the question on writer Thalia Lauzon’s mind as she reflects on how working over break makes it feel like not much of a break at all. COURTESY OF ARTEM BELIAIKIN VIA UNSPLASH

The freedom you get while having no work schedule to adhere to is fantastic. You can hang out with friends, go to the movies, get takeout or delivery with no time constraints. But money is needed for everything, which that logical voice will harp on until you can’t unhear it –– “buh-bye freedom.”

Not to mention replenishing the money spent over the grueling previous semester and all the ice cream it entailed. 

Before lazy-girl could strike again and change my mind, I quickly took the decisive step to text my boss in November to put me on the schedule during Winter break. As much as I wanted a break of doing nothing, I understood the best option was to face the music and work. 

The odds of me getting bored doing nothing during break were high anyway, which is never a good thing.

Plus, payday was going to be sweet. 

And it would be fun to see my coworkers again. 

And everything would be fine. 


For the most part, everything actually was. It was great to get out of the house most days and get some social interaction with real people, rather than book characters, and eventually get paid. Once you got there, everything was already moving and you just had to get through it. Easy. 

On the other hand, it’s not really a break. 

I don’t feel like I’ve had time to let my brain rest, which allowed the start of the semester to sneak attack me from the shadows. By the time I went on another leave of absence from work for school, classes were days away, and getting ready filled my off-days with chaos. 

While dramatic in description, I don’t feel rested or recharged. There’s a burnout even before the semester began, after spending usually five or six days a week working various shifts from opening to the 10 p.m. close time. 

It didn’t help that I work as a cashier, which typically means hundreds of customers a day. And as a textbook introvert, I get drained of energy by the end of each shift. 

Though I love working once I get there, I crash later. 

Then, when the blessed days off do come, everything you’ve been putting off needs to be crammed into those few-and-far-between days, leeching off your free time. 

It’s not fun. But I can’t deny the feeling of accomplishment and productiveness that comes with working and running errands. While draining, I can say that I spent my free time wisely and used it to my advantage. 

Between feeling tired but motivated or rested but bored, I don’t know which wins. I know where I am now, and hindsight is always 20/20. But all I can do now is hope I can try to find breaks between now and the new wave of attack that is the Spring semester.

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