Yes, I'm A Babysitter And Yes, It Is The Best Job In The Whole Wide World

Yes, I'm A Babysitter And Yes, It Is The Best Job In The Whole Wide World

It's hard. It's exhausting. But in the end, its so, so, so worth it.

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When I turned 16 years old, I started babysitting during the summer to make some extra money and get myself out of the house and off the couch. Now, I'm 19 years old and I still babysit during the summer, but this school year I've had the opportunity to babysit on the days that I don't have classes. When people ask me where I work or what my job is, I'll sometimes get strange looks and questions like, "Is that your real job?" when I tell them that I babysit. Sure, I don't have a typical job and I often wonder how different my life would be if I had a 'normal' college job, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Babysitting, to me, is more than a job. It's giving hugs, wiping tears, and kissing boo-boos. It's listening to "Let It Go" and playing "Ring Around The Rosie," even though you feel sick from spinning in circles for the last hour, just because it makes the kids happy. It's watching "Blippi," "Barney," and "A Bug's Life" for hours on end, thinking you might pull your hair out if you hear the 'Excavator' song one more time.

It's so much more than what meets the eye. It's hard. It's exhausting. But in the end, its so, so, so worth it. I wouldn't trade the hugs, kisses, or giggles for anything in the world. So next time you ask me where I work, I'll proudly respond that I'm a babysitter. I'm proud to be a babysitter, I'm proud to be "Lowey" and I love being a babysitter. I truly have the best job in the world.

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A Letter To My Best Friend On Valentine's Day

Because you are my ultimate Valentine.
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To my beautiful best friend,

Warning: This letter is about to get extremely cheesy. I am talking four cheese lasagna cheesy. But no one deserves a love letter like this more than you do.

This Valentine’s Day, I want to express my love for you. On this wondrous occasion with which most people express their love to their significant other, I want to tell you, my best friend, how much I cherish our friendship.

SEE ALSO: A Valentine's Day Love Letter To My Girl Best Friends

You are the ultimate love of my life. Boys have come and gone but you remain a constant; for that I am grateful. You have been there for me when my family could not be; for that I am grateful. You have been my backbone, my rock, and all those other clichés people use to describe the people they care about, and yet you have been so much more than that as well; for that I am grateful.

All my love this Valentine’s Day goes out to you, my friend, because you do not receive it enough. You have picked me up out of the dirt, brushed me off, and kissed my wounds more times than I can count, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that, but I am sure am going to try.

Thank you for the midnight cries. Thank you for the midnight laughs. Thank you for ordering way too much food with me and still just eating it all. Thank you for the advice, both solicited and unsolicited. Thank you for telling me what I need to hear, even when it isn’t what I want to hear. Thank you for the silly pictures. Thank you for the stupid inside jokes. Thank you for making bad decisions with me. Thank you for laughing with me and laughing at me. Thank you for the endless memories.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter to the Best Friend I've Ever Had

More than anything, I want you to know that I love you. I love you. You are the family I get to choose, the one I go to when I have nowhere else to turn. You are the one I know I can always run to, whether we saw each other yesterday or haven’t seen each other in a year. You have played a part in molding who I am as a person, and I am so grateful for having such an amazing person affecting my life in such a positive way.

With all the love in my heart,

Your friend
Cover Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.pederson.5/photos

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Yes, Mom, I Want To Study The Ocean When I Grow Up

I'm determined to make every child's dream my reality.

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Throughout my life, I've been to the beach three times. I'm from a rural area in central Kentucky, and the nearest ocean is at least nine hours away. However, I remember each time I visited the ocean quite vividly. The salty water is an emerald green to crystal clear blue (it depends on who you ask, honestly), and it's always mesmerized me. The world's oceans cover 71% of our planet, yet we know almost nothing about what lies beneath the water's surface. The ocean has always fascinated me, but I never really gave it much thought as a child - I just knew that I loved swimming in it.

Career planning is a big part of any child's life, and I'm definitely not an exception. I've wanted to pursue many different careers - I've dreamt of being everything from a doctor to a lawyer, but none of those aspirations were based on doing what I loved, what I was passionate about. It's important to note that although I've grown up in an inland state, I've spent much of my life in water. I've been swimming since age two, and as a fourth-year swimmer and senior in high school, I'm now Varsity Team Captain of my high school's swim team. I'm very much at home in the water, and I see now the role that this has played in my future career endeavors.

I never thought about pursuing a degree in Marine Science until this past July, on vacation in Destin, Florida. I sat on a boat in the middle of the ocean, parasailing on the Gulf Coast in Florida like the tourist that I was when all of a sudden, a school of dolphins began to hunt in the waters around the boat. I watched them as they swam through the water, having most likely stumbled upon a school of fish that looked like they would make a great lunch. I was instantly mesmerized by these dolphins, and this experience spurred a passion inside of me that has always been there, I just didn't know it yet.

In the days after I arrived back in Kentucky, I began researching the Marine Science field and all that you can do in it. You can do everything from coral reef conservation to studying shark migration habits. You can travel the world studying the ocean and its inhabitants, and there are many more opportunities around the world than one might think. The world's oceans are rapidly deteriorating and it's vital now more than ever to study and learn about them so that we can better protect them. As wide and vast as the world's oceans are, it's easy to find something that interests you and with drive and determination, it's certainly possible to build a career doing what you love where you love.

As a second-semester high school senior enrolling at Troy University this fall, I've decided that I truly do desire to study the ocean, and I aspire to build my life around it. You see, I've never been one to want a job that simply pays the bills and pays well. Work should excite you - it should fulfill you and genuinely motivate you to be a better person. I'm a firm believer that if more people in our nation and the world woke up every day excited to go to work and loved their work, our world would be a better place.

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