Carefree Summer Days? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   As school comes to an end, I should be lookingforward to carefree summer days, but I am not. Instead, I realize thatmy summer will be spent working.

Two years ago, my parentsdecided it was time I got a job. They were kind enough, however, toallow me the freedom of choosing my place of employment. I sought a jobthat would let me to have fun, meet people and be outside. I decided tobecome a lifeguard.

For as long as I can remember, summer fun inmy family has revolved around the beaches of Cape Cod. With the warm sunon my back and the ocean breeze in my hair, I can reach a near-perfectstate of relaxation. Working as a lifeguard seemed like the answer to myprayers. I fantasized about lying on the beach perfecting my tan whilegetting paid. I couldn't think of a better job.

I soon discoveredthat lifeguarding is not a day at the beach. With my paycheck came anenormous amount of responsibility. On my first day, I looked at thehelpless children and frail senior citizens standing in the poundingsurf, and realized they were all my responsibility. It dawned on me thatmy carefree days at the beach had probably given my mother more than afew gray hairs.

I sat on the edge of my stand waiting to springinto action. I was forced into constant vigilance. So much forrelaxation. I also discovered that sitting on a lifeguard stand all dayin the heat, cold, wind and rain is different from lounging on my beachchair.

Lifeguarding also demands a less active social life. It istempting to go out and party every day after work but, as I eventuallyrealized, this is not possible. When you are required to be at work veryearly each morning, you cannot stay out late. Being in the sun all dayis draining, and you can't afford to be tired. After a few weeks, Irealized I would rather sleep than party. It is possible, however, tomanage both work and a social life, it's just not easy.

As eachsummer ends and my bank account grows, I realize that a summer job isnot as bad as it seemed. I leave the beaches at the end of the seasonwishing summer was just beginning. I love working at the beach. Althoughit requires an enormous amount of responsibility, it allows me to beoutside and around people my age. I guess I do still look forward tosummer days. Even though they may not be carefree, I have a great time.




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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