Allan Danahar

How To Rock Unemployment If You Can’t Find A Summer Job

You deserve a break. Just don't let it break you.

Jobs are the worst thing that's ever existed ever. At least, that is, 'til you don't have one.

Being unemployed can make you feel worthless and on the edge of going bananas at every moment, but it doesn't have to be that way. You may even look back at this time nostalgically after you've found a new daily grind. Here are tips for turning that "unemployment" into "funemployment." (Just don't ever call it "funemployment.")

  • Staying in bed all day every day WILL make you feel like crap

    Whether you're just out of college or have been working for years (until recently), everybody deserves some extra sleepy time. One of the best things about being unemployed is that, for possibly the first time in your life, you get to wake up whenever you want. Sweet freedom!

    Waking up at a reasonable time, however, is a great way to make you feel like a person. It can also help you get some things done ... like taking a morning shower while it's still technically morning, and finding a way to pay your rent. At the very least, try to get up more than an hour before you meet your friends at the bar, OK?

  • Put on some pants, and maybe talk to someone who isn't your ex's Facebook profile

    Spending the day inside, tooling around on the internet in pajamas with chip crumbs festering in your bellybutton, can be a delightful way to spend a Tuesday, but it can also become a depressing lifestyle if you make a habit of it. Get out of the house from time to time -- it'll remind you that you're still a contributing member of society, even if all you're contributing to right now is a boost in sales from your local convenience store's snack aisle.

    (Seriously, get out of the house. You're starting to smell.)

  • Get your finances in order...

    The biggest stressor you're gonna have for awhile is money. It can be nerve-racking, but it's less so if you have a clear picture of how much you have and how much you need.

    Tally your expenses and spend accordingly. You might have to rein in your lavish lifestyle, but eating ramen a few times per week is better than having to call your mom at 11:59 p.m. on the 30th so she can pay your electricity/cell phone/car insurance/ham-based luncheon meat-product bills right before the late penalty kicks in.

  • ...but don't be totally afraid to spend a few bucks

    There's no point in being unemployed if you're going to feel guilty every time you go to a movie during the day. Matinees are a few bucks cheaper -- take advantage of that while you can!

    Again, if you never do anything social with your friends, you'll fall into the kind of introspective, motivation-sapping funk that makes applying for jobs next to impossible. Besides, if they're real friends, they'll cover your tab a few times anyway.

  • Get in the best shape of your life

    Exercise can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, which tend to go along with being out of a job. You have an opportunity here to focus on fitness, which is a huge advantage over sitting in a cubicle all day, slowly dying both physically and otherwise.

  • Get some culture, find some meaning, discover your true self

    Remember that book you've always wanted to read? (Or remember that you’ve always wanted to read a book?) Do that! Why not sign up for a library membership while you're at it? Or maybe you've always wanted to learn how to unicycle -- now's the time!

    The point is, you've got more hours in the day than you know what to do with, so take advantage of it and try something new. Go to a free museum or something. Soon enough you're going to have a job again, and -- every time you come home exhausted and collapse in front of the TV -- you'll wish you'd spent your unemployed period learning to play guitar instead of learning how many candy bars you can fit into your mouth at once.

    (On second thought, don't do the unicycle thing. This isn't the circus.)