Responsibility This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Responsibility is a word that most teenagers laughat. I know I did. Having responsibilities is the last thing a kid wants to worryabout, but the day I became lifeguard was the day I learned what trueresponsibility was.

My older brother had been a lifeguard for two years,and it sounded like an easy job: you sit in the sun all day and get paid for it!I really love people, especially kids. I knew that being at a pool, I would bearound them all the time. My brother told me that the hours were flexible and themanagement very understanding about it being my first job.

Well, afterprocrastinating for a few weeks (not taking responsibility), I finally called andapplied for the job. They were very nice and excited to hear I wanted looking tobe a lifeguard; apparently they were having a hard time findingpeople.

The course to become certified lasted one week. Every day foreight hours, I learned CPR, first-aid, and how to pull drowning people from thewater.

I had no idea how important all this was until I had to put it touse. I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. It was adult swim, andI was sitting at a picnic table with the other lifeguard on duty and a few kids.Across the pool I saw a little girl, no older than five, running from her mom.She was laughing and looked like she was playing. In what seemed like an instant,the little girl stumbled and fell into the deep end. All the way across the pool,her mom started screaming. Without even thinking, I jumped up, ran, and dove intothe pool. The little girl was frantically splashing and screaming for help. WhenI got to her, I grabbed her and swam for the edge. I remember talking to her andtelling her that everything was fine, and she was okay. When I got to the edge, Ihanded her to someone.

Those few minutes will never leave my mind. When Isaw that girl fall, I didn't even think - I didn't have time to. I just reacted.Every day since then I've taken lifeguarding very seriously. I didn't realize howmuch responsibility I really had until I saved someone from drowning.




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






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