personal, Road Trip Wednesday

Summer after graduation…

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic: In preparation for our Bookmobile discussion of Kody Keplinger’s A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTMARE, how did you spend/how will you spend the summer after graduation?

In France, we don´t really have a graduation: no ceremony at school, no wearing a cap and gown, no big prom celebrating the end of the year. What we do have are those really hard exams called Baccalauréat. During the last two years of High School, depending on your major, you have to take national exams on many. many, many subjects. I went to pick up my results with my dad…I still remember searching my name in the pass section. I was there and with honors (yay!).

The month of July after my High School graduation was spent working where my dad worked, filing a lot and in August, I think I went on holidays with my parents  there (it´s in the Pyrenees, close to Spain and we used to go every winter and every summer) :

This is a postcard clearly showing Winter so you´ve got to imagine how it looks during the Summer time 😀

And then I went to spend some time at my sister´s (also in the South but close to St-Tropez)

This picture was not taken right after my HS graduation but in 2003 probably 😀

Some very random memories from this particular summer:

  1. The pair of the jeans of the girl I was working with. She had kind of expensive jeans and I thought maybe I could buy some like hers with my money. I never did.
  2. It was hot in the small office but the radio we listened to made me smile very often.
  3. Feeling all grown-up going in to work with my dad – I babysat before but this was different somehow…
  4. Getting drunk for the first time (17/18 was kind of a late bloomer) –> and at the age of 30, I still wonder if it´s ok for my parents to read this even though I´ve gotten a tad too much to drink a bit more since then!
  5. Turning 18 (I still have the empty bottle of Champagne from that day, it was biiiig)
  6. Spending  fun times with my sister in the South
  7. Waiting to hear from US families as I wanted to go as an au pair. I actually ended up going to the US only the next year and starting university first.
  8. Getting my driver license the day after turning 18

So tell me, what was your very first job?



30 thoughts on “Summer after graduation…”

  1. The first time I went to the store to buy alcohol after turning 18, I took my birth certificate with me in case I was asked. No-one asked. I was so disappointed! 🙂

    As for my first job… I used to earn a little money now and again doing odd jobs for my dad between ages 16 and 18. My first real salaried job was a month-long stint I did at a homecare store in Hull, England that sold everything from light fittings to toilets to plants. I was about 20, so I was a bit of a late-comer to the job market. However, I was still in university, and there were only a few students I knew who who got summer jobs to help supplement their maintenance allowance from the government–so I wasn’t alone in this.

    A very interesting response, Elodie. One might be tempted to think the schools in Europe all do things the same way. It seems not–at least comparing France and England. Though England’s not really part of Europe, anyway… 😉

    1. Hahaha 😀 When in the US last month, hubby and I were disappointed not to get carded any longer… Compared to other of my friends, I also started working a tad later but I think it is more common in the US for example to work when one is in High School. We dont really have the time in France since were in school the entire day with classes 😀 (Oh and I mention that the UK IS in the European Union, even if it sometimes seems to forget it ;-))

  2. Oh wow sounds like a fun summer. I had a job through the last two years of high school and have pretty much worked ever since lol. Not much I can do about that but when I have the funds I do try to get away for a bit and take a small mini vacation!

    1. It was quite a great summer, full of emotions 😀 What was your job while you were in High School?

      1. ummm I was a waitress, a cleaner for the private school, a dietary aide in the kitchen of a nursing home…that’s about it in high school.

  3. You still did more than me after high school! My first job was working at a Tim Horton’s, which is the McDonald’s of coffee here in Canada. I worked there from the summer after grade 9 until I left for University!

    1. I bet you have a lot of stories and memories from that job 😀 I worked as a restaurant and the behind-the-scenes was quite interesting 😀

  4. I worked for my dad one summer after graduation, helping him prepare for a big case. It was the first job I felt “grown up” at–but not my first job. Baby- and pet-sitting aside, I folded clothes at The Limited starting the day I turned 16. I’m still really good at folding shirts, too.

    1. My hubby always complained I am not folding clothes properly, maybe the next time were in NYC you should show me 😀

  5. That sounds like a pretty fun summer. 🙂 After graduation I went to Scotland as a clown. Weird, I know. I spent the whole summer outside of Edinburgh, and then returned home for a couple of weeks before starting college.

    1. It was quite fun, I have to say 😀 Lots of emotional times too 😀 And yes, love your Clown pictures! 😀

  6. I really don’t remember doing anything special during the summer after graduation. I probably just hung out with friends, worked, and got ready for college. I remember I had SO much fun making a checklist of things I’d need for my dorm room, like a shower caddy, new bedding, etc.

    My first job besides babysitting, was working at Walgreens, a drugstore. I started as a cashier (which I hated) and then worked in cosmetics, which was much better. Definitely not an exciting job, but I did make some good friends. I started the same day as another girl, and we are still friends now! 🙂

    1. Getting ready to move out is indeed fun, all the shopping and imagining how everything it is going to look like, how life is going to be 😀 I love the story about Walgreens and how youre still friends with one of your co-workers 😀

  7. By the way… I LOVE France (always have, ever since I was little) and it’s cool to read about the differences. No graduation? No prom? I had no idea!

  8. What a nice way to spend your summer – working with your dad. 🙂

    I started a part time job when I was fifteen, at a craft store. I think that’s where my love of crafting was born, although I always enjoyed drawing (doodling on the edges of my notebooks, mostly!) After my high school graduation, I spent the summer at the lake with my parents, working in the local grocery store. That August, my boyfriend of 4 months proposed to me. I turned him down, initially, because I was a bit scared. He was the only real boyfriend I’d had, up until then. I eventually realized no guy could come close to his wonderfulness, so I married him 2 weeks after my University graduation! 🙂

    1. Well he worked down the hall 😀 But I got to see him often, practiced driving with him and ate lunch with him on a regular basis…I loved it! 😀 Awwww and that proposal story and how everything turned out for you made my heart melt!!! So so cute!

  9. My first time buying alcohol legally was actually when I was 16 – in Germany you can buy ‘soft’ spirits, like beer, then. Since I was living in the US at the time where the legal age for anything was 21 and I went back to Germany only in the summers/winters it was quite surreal!

    It sounds like you had a great summer though! Oh, and I did something similar to the French baccalaureate, the international baccalaureate, so I know how you felt with the many many exams 😉

    1. 😀 I drank before the age of 18. As you probably know, in France you can do the same with soft spirits, and at parties with friends and such…It was definitely weird for me too, cos I left Europe for the US as an au pair when I was 19. I did find it strange that I could drive but not drink (I mean not together but you know what I mean :D)…Some girls were lucky cos people didnt know about the different ways to write birthdays and they were both on 1st of December but people thought it was 12th of January…:D

      1. Haha, oh yes, the date thing! They do have a slight tendency in the US to only know about their systems.

  10. I totally know that feeling of grown-up-ness that comes with a first office job. I had that at 22, and thought I was such an adult, lol.

    My first job was in a department store, selling children’s clothing and strollers. It was the first of many retail gigs for me, and I am so thankful my retail era is over 🙂

    1. 😀 It does feel a bit different than babysitting in a way 😀 Selling childrens clothing and strollers, you probably would have a looooot of stories to tell…

  11. This is awesome, Elodie! It was fun to learn more about you and your past. And I love the bit about you getting drunk for the first time… Too funny!

    My first job (other than baby-sitting) was as a lifeguard/swim instructor at my high school’s swimming pool. It was tons of fun!

    1. Thanks Katy 😀 That bit about getting drunk does sound funny today but I do remember the day after, the hangover and it wasnt pretty lol 😀 I bet you have a lot of memories and stories to tell about being a swim instructor/lifeguard at your HS swimming pool! 😀 (it sounds cool and very very fun!)

  12. My first job was at 15, working nights at Woolworth’s. It would get so hot up at the cashier’s counter in the summertime! And one thing that makes me laugh is the flirtation I had going on with a boy who worked at Sam Goody’s, until he showed up in my line making out with another girl. We didn’t have an official relationship or anything, but show some class! I was bummed out about it for a few days–until I saw my guy with his twin brother. So much angst over nothing!

    1. Oh wow, this story sounds like a movie, ever though about incorporating bits and pieces of it into a book?

  13. Beautiful pics! My first job (outside of babysitting) was working as a hostess/buser/waitress at Perkins Family Restaurant. It sucked, but the co-workers made it fun . .. actually worked with my hubby there (who, of course, was just a friend back then). I worked all summer, every summer, to save up for college! I went to UCF in Orlando:)

    1. Thanks Jaime 😀 I worked in a restaurant and I totally get the fun co-workers can bring…that and a lot of drama behind-the-scene 😀 So cute that you worked there with your future hubby 😀

  14. Sounds like a fun summer! My first “real” job (not just babysitting or nannying) was cleaning the elementary school with two of my good friends the summer I was 16. We had a lot of… shall we say, down time. We would get our work done really fast (unless Perry was hungover) and then play marbles or card games or just goof around. One time we got busted by the janitor playing poker in the principal’s office. It was awesome. I might have to write that into a book.

    1. It was quite a fun summer 😀 Please, Sara, do write those bits of your summer time in a book, it sounds so funny! So what did the janitor say? 😀

  15. I babysat A TON in middle school and high school, but my first “real” job was working in the university dining hall (and I was there for four years).

    I didn’t keep a souvenir from my 21st (when I had my first drink). Which is totally okay, because I really don’t need a memento of the cheap vodka I drank and wouldn’t be caught dead with now, lol.

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