What Teaching Swim Lessons Has Done For Me

What Teaching Swim Lessons Has Done For Me

A Rewarding Experience
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When I started teaching swim lessons I had no idea the impact it would have on me. I began teaching swim lessons my senior year of high school; I thought it was a good fit for me because I had been a swimmer most of my life and had also worked as a lifeguard prior. What I didn’t think was that it would change my life like it did, or how it helped me grow so immensely as a person.

Before teaching swim lessons I sort-of liked kids, and I definitely never thought that my favorite part of the job would be the kiddos I worked with. When I first began teaching I found the job entirely overwhelming; there was so much you had to know and so much that was expected of you. The job was stressful, but I found that experience was the key to success with the job. All it took was becoming confident in my teaching abilities and perfecting my “mom voice” to get the kids to listen and respect me.

Once I found my rhythm and figured out what techniques worked best to teach, I really lost myself in the pure enjoyment of what I was doing. The thing about working with kids, and teaching them a lifelong skill, is that it is remarkably rewarding. For me, there was no better feeling then when a kid finally accomplished a skill that we had been working on for a long time. I always felt this overwhelming sense of pride knowing that I did that. I taught this adorable young child something that they will always take with them, not to mention something that will help keep them safe.

The feeling of helping shape and influence a child is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced, and that was not something I expected when I initially took the job. It honestly became more than a job for me, I loved doing it so it never felt like work. Getting to be goofy with the kiddos for a couple hours while teaching them something that I myself loved to do was an incredible “job” to have.

Another thing: kids are hilarious. They honestly say the most ridiculous things that I then share with all my friends and family at the end of every shift. I knew I loved what I was doing because I could never stop talking about it. I loved spending time with the kinds, I loved teaching something I felt so strongly about, and I loved the feeling that I was doing something with a purpose.

Teaching swim lessons has become something I hold very dear to my heart and I plan to continue to find ways to fit it into my life in some way. It helped me grow and mature, and it helped me realize that I want to work with kids again someday because it is one of the most rewarding things to do. I get choked up thinking about all the kids and parents that have conveyed to me how much they have appreciated and enjoyed my teaching.

The kiddos and their families made every second of the damaged hair, dry skin, and constant smell of chlorine worth it. Teaching swim lessons has taught me so much and has been one of the best experiences of my life. I am so appreciative for something that has been such a positive impact on me. No matter what career path I go down I feel that somehow I will find my way back to teaching because the feeling that it gives me is like no other.

Cover Image Credit: Courthouse Athletic Club/Flickr Creative Commons

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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I Wish My Big Ten School Was Known For Education, Not Football

College football is great, but education is the reason that most students choose their university.

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College football is a big deal to lots of universities. At schools like Ohio State, it is a really big deal. Although I personally don't care about football, I think that it is a great way to build a sense of community and camaraderie among students. It is fun, gives many schools a worldwide presence, and allows us students to have a sense of overwhelming pride in our school.

I just don't want that pride to outweigh the pride in the education itself. Unless you're a football player, you go to college primarily to learn and build your future. Football is fun, but sometimes I wish that society associates my school with an education rather than a single sport.

I cannot count the number of times that I told people that I go to OSU, and they responded by saying something along the lines of "Oh no, I'm a Michigan fan!" If they're referring to how The University of Michigan has some academic programs that are usually ranked higher than those at Ohio State, then I wouldn't blame them. Heck, it is ignorant not to acknowledge the truth in that-- if Michigan hadn't cost a thousand times more than what I'm paying now, I honestly might have chosen to be a student there.

Back to the point, though. I'm proud to go to OSU. At this time in life, I wouldn't want to be going anywhere else. Attending a school known for football was ultimately my decision, but that factor itself wasn't the reason. Admittedly, since I started college, I came to realize that all students aren't as football-crazy as I anticipated. One game day when I was studying in the library, a handful of guys came in yelling "OH" and expecting an "IO" back. They were met with silence until someone studying a few floors above them shouted back "F*** off!"

That story always reminds me that big schools like Ohio State really are for everyone. OSU excels in its education and wide variety of extracurricular opportunities. I don't love my school because of football-- I love my school because of the challenging academics, amazing faculty, and strong community. I think that it is time for the general public to see it that way too.

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