Working as a teenager is a good way to make money, it gets you out of the house, and it gives you a small dose of the “real world”. Jobs are all about responsibility, but it is all worth it when you have that little paycheck in your hand. Life guarding last year gave me a new
perspective on the people in the red swimsuits that blow their whistles all the time, and why I believe lifeguards are the heroes of the community pool world. As well as a great swimsuit tan, everyone likes to have a little money in the bank, a cash flow, and that is exactly why I decided to
pick up a summer job last year.
Every day I would clock in on the phone, and hope that nobody drowned, because it was of course my main priority, and also my greatest fear. It’s not that I didn’t have the training to save someone if something did happen; it is just a lot of pressure, being responsible for a pool
full of people and their safety. As a kid I always hated to be whistled at for running, but now that I have been in the other position I know that all we are trying to do is keep a kid from slip-sliding into the pool.
A lot of new experiences came from that job, such as, swimming down twelve feet of water to save my training partner. When I started I was absolutely terrified by the idea of going so deep; I am one of those people who would never jump off the high jump. I made a lot of mistakes
when I was training, including letting one of my “victims” fall back in the pool... not a good idea. Don’t worry though, they were not real victims, we just took turns pretending to drown, although either way we had to get into the cold pool and get wet.
Working over the summer does introduce you to new people, but dating co-workers should not be on the agenda for networking, I know. Regardless of your field of work, either sitting in an office or by a pool, you never want to deter anyone who could potentially end up covering your
shift. There are always people who are willing to take your shift, but they are very rare, and when you need someone to cover for you everyone is either out of town, sick, or unable to answer their phone the whole day, I have been on both ends of the rope.
Getting a summer job is a very good idea, and it scores major points with your parents, plus you don’t have to borrow money all the time. I will not be working this summer, but I will miss those 100 degree days when I sat in a chair and watched people splash around in cold water. My days just
won’t be the same, but I will travel this year, which may give me new insights on the world. We are all just in this big world together trying to make our way through life, and if we have to swim around for a little while to stay cool, then so be it.