By Aaliyah Gibson
There is a saying that you’re never supposed to play where you work. For some reason, the idea of work has become associated with dullness and boredom, and the idea of having friends on the job is rare in an environment where you may not be having the time of your life. Television shows and movies enforce the idea that coworkers are friends that you can tell life stories to, depend on, or even marry; but in reality, coworkers become strictly that— coworkers.
Kyle Jasik, freshman, has had four jobs. But it is his job in a University dining hall that has encouraged him to be friends with coworkers.
“I knew that working in dining would pretty much be me working with other students that were in the same boat as me,” said Jasik. “If we were all just students trying to earn money to afford college or have a little extra money in our pockets, then we already had something there to talk about. I’ve made some great friends from working with people that are pretty similar to me here.”
The idea of work and play being separate may be a strange one. In the end, it may be that coworkers turn out to be your closest friends. Besides the fact that you all are coming to the same environment every day to achieve the same goal, you must have something in common if you chose to work at the same place.
In college especially, you may find that two people who work together at a library are more similar to one another than to a person who works somewhere else. That’s because certain personality traits, living situations or other factors cause people to seek the same work environment.
Instead of separating yourself from a coworker, trying to see what made you both choose the line of work may be what brings you together.
Marco Aguirre, sophomore and Residential Advisor as well as a Dining supervisor, has come to the conclusion that being friends with coworkers is what makes work worth the trip, minus the paycheck, he said.
“I believe that having friends out of work has a lot of benefits,” said Aguirre. “If you need someone to cover your shift, you have a friend. Being friends makes the job more enjoyable because then you can say you’re working with friends and not just people that you see at work. People associate work with not being a happy place, but if you have friends at work then it’s a fun, happy place.”
In the end, work and friendships shouldn’t have to be two separate concepts divided for the next eight-hour shift.
“You have to go out and be daring and make friends,” Aguirre said. “Even if there are people that you don’t like on the job, you learn to like them and it’s not so bad. Friendship is on the top five lists of things that I consider to be essential for a healthy life, so having them at work is useful.”