"That high school job doesn't really mean much, it's just a way to put gas in my car and pay for the unnecessary shopping trips that my sixteen-year-old self dreamt about."

That's what I thought, at least.

Every day I would groan about how I can't wait to graduate, as I would put on my uniform and drive to work after an entire day of going to school. I couldn't wait to leave.

But, after spending countless summers, every holiday, and more Sunday mornings than I could begin to count there, I realize that that place means so much more to me than I ever thought possible. Five years later and only months away from having to actually leave, I would do anything to make time slow down.

To my "high school job," thank you...

Thank you for bringing the best people into my life. Spending multiple days, every week for five years with the same people, you're bound to make some pretty great friends.

Thank you all for making me laugh. Work isn't always fun, but when you're with the right people, anything can be enjoyable.

Thank you for all of the memories that I will always look back on and laugh no matter how many years pass.

Thank you for encouraging me and always listening to my nursing school stories. I know, you're sick of hearing me complain, but I truly believe that I couldn't make it through without your love and support.

Thanks for being my family and giving me a reason to look forward to coming to work.

Thank you for being my "home." Leaving somewhere that you've spent so much time at is like leaving a piece of yourself behind. I will always feel loved, supported, and protected when I walk through those doors. When you get comfortable enough somewhere, it begins to feel like your home away from home, and that's exactly what my first job feels like to me.

Thank you for teaching me responsibility. Because of you, I learned the importance of maturity and responsibility very young. I had to show up on time, do my job, and smile even when I didn't want to. The weekends and the holidays were rough, but they taught me valuable lessons that will follow me into my career. I will forever be thankful for the responsibility I learned from the time I was sixteen because of my very first job.