Kelsee Brady, managing editor
I enjoy working and I like the jobs that I have, but as I have gained more leadership and developed a passion for the fields that I am pursuing, it has become glaringly obvious that my expectations are set much too high, in others’ opinions.
Let’s start with some context. I did not have an official job before I came to Berry in the fall of 2018. I did some babysitting, but nothing more than that. In hindsight, I’m extremely fortunate that I didn’t have to work during high school.
My friends who worked jobs during high school consistently put in more and more hours as the school year wore on and the toll it took on them academically, was not always obvious but it was there.
When I came to Berry in the fall, I was excited to work because I knew about all of the valuable hands-on opportunities students have here. Especially as an animal science major, working directly with animals as a freshman is an extraordinary opportunity.
Initially, I was assigned to work at the Berry College Elementary & Middle School (BCEMS). Knowing that my end goal is being a veterinarian, working with small children doesn’t exactly sound like a dream.
I continued working at this job through the end of my first semester, and by the end of October, I was writing for the Carrier and working as a calf barn trainee at the Rollins Dairy on-campus. In total, I was logging at least 19 hours per week, and I loved it.
I quickly realized that I enjoyed the work that I was doing. Yes, the paycheck was nice, but at the time, the minimum wage at Berry was $7.25.
During one of my first weeks at BCEMS, one of the other student workers told me that you don’t work at Berry for the money, you do it for the experience. And, it’s true.
I think that sentiment applies to many of the experiences that we get at Berry. None of us chose to be here because of the price tag. The $50,000 cost of attendance per year doesn’t sound appealing to anyone.
But, here’s the thing: I hate how busy I am. I currently have two jobs and work at least 20 hours a week, minimum. I’m also a gate scholar so the percentage of funds that I actually acquire on payday are minimal.
Take the Carrier for example. I get paid a stipend of 12 hours a week for my position as managing editor. That is the minimum amount of time that I put in. Almost every issue that the Carrier has published has required many more hours than that for both myself and the editor-in-chief Taylor Corley, but neither of us are in it for the money.
I wouldn’t say that I am particularly happy about unpaid labor, but I also recognize that in both jobs that I currently have and others, I knew what I was signing up for.
What I did not expect is the lack of commitment and dedication from people that in turn requires me to put in more hours than initially intended. I consistently put in 110% of my time, energy and effort into everything that I do because I genuinely love most of what I do.
To not see this dedication reflected from others that I work alongside is draining. It ultimately results in me feeling undervalued and underappreciated. It also makes me feel like I am asking for too much, when in fact, I am asking for the literal job description of the person in that position.
I’m tired of people feeling like normal and reasonable expectations are too high.Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic was hard and it led to a lot of stress and burnout, but the “Berry Bubble” has not felt the same effects as the rest of the world. I know the world figuratively stopped turning during the COVID-19 pandemic and in some situations, expectations were extremely altered. But, I thought we all understood that these weren’t permanent changes.
For most of the spring semester at Berry, COVID-19 cases have been few and far between. The excuses as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic no longer hold water.
My experience since March 2020 has not always been favorable, but I know that I have put my all into the job that I am expected to do and I expect the same from others. So move the dial back up to 100 and let’s get moving.