Rachel Gonzalez: The Barista

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Junior Rachel Gonzalez takes a selfie in her Starbucks uniform. Gonzalez has to race after school to get to work on time. “My mom calls me a workaholic because I never give myself a break,” she said.

After a long day at school and an Uber ride, junior Rachel Gonzalez races to the front door of the Starbucks coffee shop on George J Bean Parkway. With little time to spare, Gonzalez makes it for her shift that starts at 4:30. 

Gonzalez juggles working at Starbucks with being president of Best Buddies and Start With Hello clubs, a member of the Student Government association, The JROTC Battalion s3 operations officer and a member of the Key club, all while maintaining a 4.5 GPA. “My mom calls me a workaholic because I never give myself a break,” Gonzalez said. “The truth is I don’t know how to.” Coming from a low-income family, Gonzalez saw reason to work hard to become a provider for herself.      

Other than her family, Gonzalez shared that her coworkers also help bring her back to reality when she is feeling overwhelmed. “My coworkers keep me grounded really, without them I probably wouldn’t be able to work as well as I do. While only three employees are allowed on the floor due to the Starbucks COVID guidelines, Gonzalas keeps the relationship with her coworkers strong. “We have inside jokes that we make all the time, there are nothing but good vibes at work” said Gonzalez. Sometimes, they make drinks from  TikTok for each other.  “Some of them are good the others not so much,” Gonzalez said.  

Gonzalas has had her fair share of challenges however. “Sometimes I end up closing the store and I won’t get home until 9 o’clock and by that time I’m too tired to do homework.” Gonzalez constantly reminds herself to work on her time management skills because turning in late assignments or no assignments at all is not expectable in her book. 

The reason Gonzalez puts so much pressure on herself is because she plans on paying for her college years. Gonzalez wishes to attend New York University (NYU) to major in either Anatomy or Pre-law, However, her desired career is still undecided. ”I chose NYU because I’ve always wanted to get out of Florida and New York is more of my vibe” said Gonzalez. 

After working for a few months now, Gonzalez has some advice for students searching for a job. “Don’t over commit yourself,” Gonzalez said. “We have this grind mindset and forget that we’re also humans and very young, we need time to ourselves”