What I Learned At Daycare

What I Learned At Daycare

As a college student, daycare is a little different.

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.

Cover Image Credit: http://cssdioceseofscranton.org/content/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Day-Care.jpg

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.

When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.


Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!


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