Column: It’s not the grades you make; it’s the hands you shake

We're hiring job sign.
We’re hiring job sign.

Paige Hill
Oxford Stories

Since I was in high school, I have enjoyed having a job.

There are many reasons why having a job can be beneficial for anyone, especially starting at a young age.

My parents always provided me with what I needed and a lot of what I wanted. While providing me with those things, they also taught me discipline and to earn the things I have.

However, they often question my job choices because I haven’t worked in the same field within the five jobs I’ve had. I like to be versatile.

My first job was a nanny job. I was 16. My friend was going to college, and the kids she nannied needed a replacement while she was away. I took her up on the offer, mainly because I liked the idea of having extra money.

Paige Hill
Paige Hill

Being a junior in high school and earning a couple hundred dollars every week, I enjoyed not having to ask my parents for money every time I wanted to do something with my friends. It never bothered them when I asked for money, but I never liked taking it from them.

In summer of 2018, I became an employee at Cutting Edge Hair Salon in Plano, Texas. I swept hair, and cleaned the bathrooms, hair tools and brushes, washed bowls, towels, dishes and did inventory. It sounds like the last job an 18-year-old girl would want to do.

The workload and money wasn’t the reason I continued working there. I started to form friendships with my co-workers, and while getting to know them, I was introduced and taught many things. It was like getting paid to hang out with my now friends, and work quickly became fun.

I love the networking involved with having a job. Meeting and talking to people is one of my favorite things to do, and getting paid for it is just the cherry on top.

After that summer, I moved to Oxford, where I started my freshman year at The University of Mississippi. Freshman year is stressful enough. Having a job was the last thing on my mind. While preparing for Miss Texas Teen USA at the time, I was preoccupied with that.

Once second semester came, and I started being more involved in the social aspect of college, money started to fall short quickly. I noticed how often I was asking my parents for money, and my grades started slipping because I was focusing on my social life more than school.

I thought to myself, what better way not to go out and start bringing my grades up by getting a job. This realization brought me to my third job as a Sonic carhop.

I had never worked in the food industry before Sonic. I knew nothing about how things are done in the fast food industry.

From the start, my parents questioned why in the world I would get a job and why I chose Sonic. All I could say was, ‘Why not?’ Although I didn’t work as long as I had anticipated, I loved my experience at Sonic.

I gained money, friendships, knowledge about the food industry, how to handle money, and awareness about what goes on in your neighborhood Sonic. Walking away with all those things is a win in my eyes.

Summer 2019 brings me back to my job at the hair salon at home in Texas. This time, I was a receptionist. I had to put on my big girl pants and take work more seriously than my previous job at the salon.

This job taught me so many things, like scheduling/talking with clients, learning the many details that go along with getting your hair done, handling clients money, technology shortcuts, and how to provide/what to expect with good customer service in that atmosphere. The list goes on. I’m so thankful I have a job that helps me grow by teaching me things I will use for the rest of my life.

Mid-afternoon in downtown oxford. Photo by Paige Hill.
Mid-afternoon in downtown oxford. Photo by Paige Hill.

My most recent job was working as a hostess at The Oxford Grillehouse, a steakhouse on the Square downtown. Although I loved my co-workers, and I’m grateful for the experience, being a hostess is a job I don’t plan on having again.

I now know what it’s like to make reservations, buss tables, set up restaurant tables, and what goes on in the background of a restaurant on the Square during a busy game day weekend. After all is said and done, I thank Oxford Grillehouse for teaching me what being a hostess entails.

Having started work when I did and having worked the jobs that I have, has made me the person I am today. I’ve met so many people, learned so many things, and continue to become more versatile with every experience.

I highly encourage people to take any job opportunity they come across because it can give/ teach them so many things that will help you for the rest of your life, and it’s a great networking opportunity for any future job you may be introduced to. It’s not about the grades you make, It’s about the hands you shake.

Paige Hill
Paige Hill

Paige Hill, 19, is a sophomore at UM. Although she was born and raised in Texas, she enjoys living in Mississippi where she is introduced to many new places and faces. She is studying broadcast journalism with the plan of becoming a sports reporter.

Hill is a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, athlete, pageant girl, student, and friendly face. A typical summer day in her childhood involved six to eight hours of dance rehearsals, spending 30 minutes to an hour at home playing with her eight pets before going out with her family for a night filled with watching her brother play competitive soccer.

Hill began dancing at age 7. Dancing competitively for 11 years, she didn’t have much time to do anything but dance throughout her childhood. When middle school came, she was introduced to other sports and fell in love with track and field.

Hill juggled and struggled, focusing on two competitive sports, but enjoyed the challenges and time management lessons. She ran track and danced competitively until the end of her senior year of high school.

At age of 8, she was introduced to pageantry. Her mother competed in pageants growing up, and Hill competed in pageants from ages 10 to 18. She competed in the Miss America Organization and Miss USA Teen organization from the ages of 13-18. She is thankful for the countless life lessons and things that were taught to her from these organizations throughout the years.

Hill is known for her adaptability, goofiness, love for people, and honesty. She finds joy meeting new people, running, lake days, spending time with her family, watching sports, fishing, listening to music, shoe shopping, spending time with her pets, baking cookies, and singing karaoke.

She finds entertainment in sporting. She grew up involved in sports, and watching her brother and friends compete. She enjoys talking and watching people work hard toward their passion and reach their goals. Hill is planning to major in sports broadcasting with the hopes of becoming a sideline reporter.


Tagged as:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s