The First Day of My Future This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     What do you want to be when you growup? For me the answer has always been easy - and the same.When I grow up, I want to be a veterinarian. Of course, itwasn't until four years ago that I finally learned how tospell my desired occupation. Most kids don't have a clue whatthey want to do with their lives, but for some reason I havealways been sure. In fact, my quick and consistent responsealways made me a bit nervous. What if I didn't like being aveterinarian? What if I go through four years of college andanother four struggling through medical school to find outthat my real mission in life was to become alibrarian?

This summer, I did something that positivelyaffected my life. One afternoon I walked into my town's animalhospital and asked to do volunteer work. Initially the job wasa way to do the 33 hours of community service I needed for ourschool's 100-hour award, but it soon proved even moreimportant. The hospital loved the idea but warned me of theunpleasant conditions and even dangers of working there. Themanager emphasized that I would be working in the kennel, thelowest rung on the ladder of animal care, but the more time Iput in, the higher I would climb.

After my first dayof running around, walking and chasing dogs, cleaning cages,doing countless loads of laundry and cleaning sinks of dogbowls, I was exhausted. This was a lot more work than I hadexpected. But I showed up week after week. Every hour spent inthat hospital became more interesting and evenenjoyable.

While I learned about animal care andtreatment, medicating and supervision, which would ultimatelyhelp me in be-coming a vet, I was also learning a great dealabout myself. This was my first real work experience andproved to me how responsible, dependable and capable I am. Allmy doubts about my ability to work in this challenging fieldhave vanished. I have found something I truly enjoy and cansee doing.

Not only have I benefited greatly, but havedonated hours to my community. While my other friends weregetting $7 an hour as cashiers, I was cleaning dirty cages,forcing medication down the throats of restless cats and dogs,giving flea baths and fighting the constant threat of slobber,with no salary

at all.

I encourage teens tohelp in their community. My experiences have proved trying attimes, but extremely rewarding. After finishing my 100th hourof community service, the animal hospital offered me a paidposition. I am now training to become a veterinary technician.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 10:54 pm
i love this so much!
Site Feedback