What I Learned At Daycare
Start writing a post

What I Learned At Daycare

As a college student, daycare is a little different.

What I Learned At Daycare

For my first summer as a college student, my first summer back in Newnan after making Athens my home, I knew it was time to get serious. I couldn’t laze on the couch like I did during my high school days. It was time to get a serious, proper job. I couldn’t volunteer all the time; volunteering wasn’t going to pay student loans. A letter from the Humane Society wouldn’t count as payment for my rent. It was time to be something of an adult-ish creature.

Well, at least, that was the plan.

You see, the biggest issue I’d faced as a college student coming back home for the summer was that the majority of “summer jobs” were taken by high schoolers that lived here full-time. Any other job wasn’t hiring for just the summer, and many discovered that after the interview process. (I’d spent three hours in a Babies R Us waiting for an interview only to be told they were “highly impressed with me, but wouldn’t be hiring short-term.”) So my job search went on for much longer than I’d anticipated.

Finally, however, on May 30, the day before summer truly began (at least that’s what I told myself to make me feel better) I got a call. A local daycare wanted me to start tomorrow. I was ecstatic. To be honest I’d forgotten about that application entirely; I’d did it quite offhandedly and when asked for any actual qualifications for an early childhood education center, I figured I’d never get the job. But out of sheer luck my enthusiasm mixed with their desperate need for help and bam. I had a job.

Now when people think “summer job,” usually it’s a hand at a car wash, a clerk at a grocer, or maybe even a cushy office internship. Instead, I was drinking apple juice and watching Bubble Guppies. Definitely not the worst way to spend a summer. However, I didn’t expect to be as involved with the kids as I was. Or rather, I didn’t expect the kids to be so involved with me. My love for my summer job and my love for these kids has brought me some interesting wisdom that I’d like to share with you. So here are some life lessons given to me by children too young to read.

1. Stay positive in rough situations.

When you’re alone in a room with ten two year olds, every second can feel like a disaster waiting to happen. A kid gets hit, someone falls, someone takes another’s toy. While these are relatively small problems, in a child’s scope of mind, it’s like their entire world is exploding. As an adult, it can be hard to relate to that, as your frame of reference is infinitely bigger than theirs. But if a child was hit, all they needed was a hug and an apology, and it was as if nothing ever happened. There were no grudges held, no ill will, barely even a tear shed. The endless energy and enthusiasm of children never ceased to amaze me; after some of the worst days the kids still ran up to me before they left and gave me a hug, which felt better than any praise I could’ve gotten from my coworkers.

2. Snack time is the best time.

If you ever want a huge group of kids to sit down and shut up, hold up a box of graham crackers. It works like nothing else, which came to both my surprise and amusement during my first week on the job. Kids love snack time, and I think our obsession with health food and body image really removed our appreciation for a two-o’-clock Little Debbie cake. It made me think about how much these kids cherish even the smallest things, like snacks, and how we lose that sense of wonder and appreciation as we grow older. Trust me: you’re never too old for snack time.


As anyone over the age of fourteen will tell you, the number one thing they miss about elementary school/daycare was naptime. As we grow older, our responsibilities increase exponentially until the point that we’re lucky for a solid six hours of shut-eye. Even though these kids groan and complain when the sleep mats go out and the lights go off, they’ll be begging for them by the time they reach maturity. In adulthood, any opportunity for a nap is like a diamond in a pile of coal. So make sure to take every second of sleep that you can, as every other adult in the vicinity is spitting with envy. Also exhaustion. Lots of exhaustion.

4. Respect and appreciate the efforts of authority.

As a kid I remember absolutely loathing my daycare teacher; she made me wait an extra 30 minutes for lunch, she put me in the corner, and she constantly called my mom. 3-year-old me saw her as Evil Incarnate, my own personal hell demon. It never occurred to me that she did these things because I bit every kid within four feet of myself. I know getting reprimanded sucks; you feel a mix of shame, anger, annoyance, and patronization, which all ends in a hateful cocktail towards whoever’s cursed with punishing you. But make sure to take into account that they’re just doing their job. No, they probably don’t hate you. No, they probably don’t even care what you did. They just want to go through their generic “don’t do it again” speech and have you both move on with your day. So don’t be so hard on authority; they’re usually just doing it because they have to.

5. Don’t grow up so fast.

It makes me smile every day to see the happiness in these kids’ faces. Granted, sometimes I want to throw them over my knee and spank them silly, but even still. When I see the magnitude of their emotions, it makes my heart ache with nostalgia. The hurricane of tears over a bug bite. The genuine scream when a baby doll is dropped. The elation at the announcement of outside time. The sheer joy of that cry of “your mom/dad is here!” As we grow older we miss a lot of the little things in life, and take for granted things we see every day, such as our family, our friends, or the nice things we own. I appreciate nothing more from this summer than the opportunity to go back to my inner kid again and spend time relearning how to love life and appreciate the happiness that comes with waking up every morning. These kids may not know their colors, but they sure now how to live.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.


Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

The Best Bagel Recipes For Every Personality Type, In Case You Need Another Excuse To Eat Carbs

I'll approve of pasta for breakfast any day, but this is more socially acceptable.


I've had times in my life at which I've told myself I need to cut out carbs. Those moments last about a minute or two before I start daydreaming about rice and pasta.

Bagels hold a special place in my heart — for many of my college friends and me, a bagel sandwich was the go-to breakfast after a long night of drinking. Years later, I still love to indulge in the occasional carb-filled breakfast. As much as I love putting in an UberEats order from bed, nothing beats the feeling of pulling some fresh-baked bread or pastries out of the oven.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.


The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.


For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Scrolling through Instagram can get stale after a while, especially if you're constantly refreshing in the hopes of finding something new and exciting. Should you be looking to add some inspiration to your timeline in the form of self-love tips, relationship advice, or love secrets, here are 11 relationship coaches you'll LOVE following.

Keep Reading... Show less

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.


When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

If you are a college freshman, or new to college, this is for you. If you are in a new time in life where you don't know where this change is going to take you, where you might not have your community yet, this is for you. Or even if you are stuck in a rut of everyday life where the new normal is quarantine and isolation, this is also for you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

As Illinois Reaches Its Highest Death Toll Since June, I Urge You To Stay Home And Wear Your Mask

69 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in a twenty-four-hour period, the highest amount since June of this year.

Photo by Noah on Unsplash

As we are approaching colder weather, we are also approaching a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state of Illinois. On October 21, 2020, Illinois recorded its largest daily COVID-19 death toll since June of this year. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 69 deaths of people who contracted COVID-19 were recorded within a twenty-four-hour period, raising the state's death toll to 9,345 since the start of the pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less

When "Mean Girls" said "In girl world, Halloween is the one time of the year where you can dress up like a total slut and no one can do or say anything about it," they were damn right. Halloween is the perfect excuse to buy that raunchy costume and show your partner that you're that B. Coming from a very single (yes, very single) 20 something-year-old, I have already got my Halloween costume on lock, and now you will too.

Not only are these 10 Halloween costumes dangerously sexy, but you can wear them in the bedroom whenever you want to give your boo a surprise, yes, year-round. Whoever said you can only dress up on Halloween is seriously disturbed.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ariana Grande released her first single called "positions" since "boyfriend" with Social House and it is a BANGER. This song is absolutely incredible and I am SURE you will agree with me once you listen.

I'm a sucker for a single with a video and that's exactly what we got. Ariana's been pretty quiet during the pandemic, and we all assumed she was working on some new music, and we were right.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Rejection Of Black Lives Matter Mural By Phoenix City Council Doesn’t Stop Gizette Knight

The Phoenix City Council rejected a proposal for a Black Lives Matter Mural in downtown Phoenix. But Gizette Knight says this is not the end.

Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash

Community organizer Gizette Knight, CEO of Reality Dreams LLC, is not giving up on the Phoenix City Council's rejection of the Black Lives Matter mural.

Keep Reading... Show less

For me, chai isn't just what I drink — it's a core part of who I am. Sure, I'll switch it up every now and then with a cup of English Breakfast, Earl Grey, rose, or Darjeeling, but I always come back to chai.

Nearly every tea lover has one tea they repeatedly drink and go back to, whether it's a daily morning ritual or an afternoon pick-me-up. One of my good friends has almost eight cups of jasmine tea every single day — she drinks more tea than water, actually.

Keep Reading... Show less

In a world where physical contact is a liability, the ease of slipping into despair and isolation has never been so tempting. Perhaps the greatest kindness we can lend to one another is reaching out to the people that meant something to us before everything changed. Here's why you should message your friend today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments