What It's Like When Your Dad Works An Offshore Oil Rig

What It's Like When Your Dad Works An Offshore Oil Rig

Working on an oil rig has its many pros and cons, but I wouldn't trade my daddy and his weird job for the world.
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Most people's parents are educators, doctors, lawyers, secretaries, plumbers, construction workers, business owners, farmers, veterinarians, etc. Most people have parents that work in pretty common jobs. They go to work at maybe 6, 7, 8 in the morning, and then come home maybe 3, 4, 5, 6 in the afternoon. They are most likely off for Christmas or Thanksgiving, with a few exceptions. Basically, they have mostly normal jobs.

I never had that normality growing up. My dad is the head electrician for an offshore oil rig off the coast of Africa. He works a month there and then comes home for a month. It has been like this for my whole life. He has had a little bit different schedule throughout the years, 14 on 14 off, 21 on, 21 off, and he has also been in different locations, Louisiana, Mexico, Brazil. He doesn't get to come home for Christmas, Birthdays, Thanksgiving, etc unless it falls during his off time. He's missed holidays, birthdays, softball games, tennis matches, barrel races, prom, etc. He only gets to call certain times, or Facebook message every now and then.

However, it is not all bad. My dad has a very important job that not many people acknowledge. He helps a company that drills oil, a very important necessity to our everyday life. He also gets to travel all over the world, and he always brings me back souvenirs, pictures, and stories about what he sees. It's also really awesome when my dad is home because, for a whole month, he is off work. He can take me fishing, go to the movies, etc. This job, while it has its many sacrifices, it pays my dad very nicely and has helped support my family tremendously, which I greatly appreciate.

There're a few ways you know your parent works offshore that I have found universal through the other kids I have met. These include being excited for gas prices to rise because you know it's better job stability for your parent. Understanding that when your parent calls, you gotta answer, no matter what you're doing because they don't get a bunch of time to call. Dealing with the hate from environmental people due to the BP oil spill. Learning the oil rig talk, and dealing with the slight increase in curse words when they come back home because it's a bunch of men on a rig together. Countless trips to the airport. Meeting the other kids like you at the schools they have to go to. And the list goes on.

It is also very scary. For any of you that remember the BP oil spill, that could have been my dad. Or if you watched the Deepwater Horizon movie, that stuff can really happen. And having to fly there and back? We all know stuff can go wrong on airplanes. It is very scary to think he could leave and I could never see him again.

With all the pros and cons, it is really cool to have a parent that works on an oil rig. So the next time you are at the beach and you see those weird structures out in the distance in the middle of the ocean, think of my dad, and all the other dads out there.

Here're some pictures...

Christmas on the rig

My dad! In his work uniform

Cover Image Credit: Vernon Moore (My Dad)

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10 Reasons Friendships Change From High School To College

Friendships change as we grow up.
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High school and college are totally different yet similar in many ways. They are formative years that develop who we are as people. During these years, friendships come and go. The friendships in college, however, are very different from the ones we had in high school.

1. High school friendships can be mostly surface level.

The age differences between high school and college students account for a lot of the differences friendships face in these time periods. Those 14-18 years old face issues that are very different from those 18-22 years old face. In high school, it's all about who looks good, who is dating who and the gossip going around. Most friendships are surface level and don't necessarily delve into the deeper things in life such as faith and politics. College, however, is a whole different ballpark. Faith, politics, and money make up many of the problems students face. College friends typically dive deeper into intellectual conversations and belief far more than high school friends. This allows the young adults to build deeper friendships than those they have experienced before.

2. College friends spend more time together.

It's no surprise that college students spend a majority of their time around other college students. Whether it be studying, eating or just hanging out, college kids hang out all the time. Even at home, college friends live together quite often and hang out just around the house. In high school, kids hang out at school on a daily basis and during their extracurricular activities. They even hang out on the weekends, if their parents allowed it. Since most college students are on their own for the first time, their friends become their family and they spend as much time as they possibly can together.

3. High school friends know your entire extended family.

We all want to be around our friends as much as possible. In high school, we hang out at school, after school, and on the weekends. We try to invite them wherever we go, including on family gatherings. Our friends learn the names of our parents, our siblings, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles, and anyone else that happens to be around during these times. In college, it's rare to meet the families of our friends unless they come to visit at school. We may learn about our friends' family through pictures and stories, but we don't get to experience them in person nearly as much as we did in high school.

4. College friends see each other cry on a regular basis.

In high school, it's seen as weak to cry. Most high school friends never see each other shed a tear, much less cry for hours on end. College is a whole different story though. I've seen my friends cry over homework and movies as much as I've seen them cry over boys. College friends even see each other drunk cry over nothing at all. Tears and sadness, anger and frustration are common in college and these emotions bond college students together in a way that high school students couldn't understand.

5. In high school, friendships are based on proximity.

In high school, we spend every day surrounded by the same people. We go from class to class five days a week spending time with the same peers and teachers. We don't have to look too far from our normal schedule to find our friends. In college, our day-to-day schedule is rarely ever the same. We have classes, work, studying and so much else going on that it's hard to find friends. We have to go out of our way to meet new people and build friendships.

6. Summertime includes more trips because college friends come from all over.

A college or university is comprised of a myriad of different students. These students come from many states and many countries around the world. This gives college students a chance to travel to new places as they go to visit their friends during academic breaks. High school students all live in the same area and usually don't have to travel more than 25 minutes to each other's homes. New experiences allow friendships to grow and thrive, and in this case, traveling is a great way to do so.

7. Lots of goodbyes occur at a high school graduation.

A high school graduation is the last time many people see each other in their lives. For example, my graduating class was over 600 students. I've seen maybe 10-15 of those people since graduating three years ago. Therefore, many friendships have ceased to exist over the years. In college, however, an effort is required to maintain a friendship in the first place. Therefore, graduation isn't filled with nearly as many goodbyes because college friends maintain their connection after walking across the stage.

8. College friendships can begin in bars.

College bars can be where many friendships begin. Loud music, dancing, and alcohol can help people loosen up and converse in ways they normally wouldn't. Shared experiences and memories can form the basis of a friendship, and bars are a wonderful place to make memories. In high school, most students aren't old enough to get into a bar, let alone drink. While high school students may share other experiences that begin their friendships, those experiences won't be in bars.

9. High school places a lot of limitations on friendships.

With their young age, high school students are usually restricted on what they can do. Their parents and their age places limitations on how late they can be out and what they can do. College students stay up all hours of the night together whereas high school students generally cannot do that. High school students also can't go out all night because they always have early classes during the week. High school students get to experience a lot of things together, however, not nearly as much as college students.

10. College friendships require a lot of effort.

High school friendships can be maintained by talking and spending time together at school five days a week. College friendships, though, require constant effort. Friends in college have to communicate and plan in order to spend time together. They have to make an effort to schedule time for each other and work through problems as they arise. College students face stress in basically every aspect of their life so the effort required to maintain a friendship is well worth it in the long run.

Cover Image Credit: Sam Manns

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