What It's Really Like To Be A Lifeguard

What It's Really Like To Be A Lifeguard

Having the lifeguarding title comes with only perks.
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I have been Red Cross Certified in lifeguarding, CPR, AED, and First Aid since my junior year in high school. I have worked on and off ever since at private pool parties, camps, and private pools ever since. It might look like a simple task, however, it's a very tedious job. One needs to be alert and active at all times on the pool deck.

Being a lifeguard comes with a lot of responsibilities. At the end of the day, having this under my belt really captures my character and the kind of person I am. On the other hand, being a lifeguard entails a great amount of reliability and stress at times. Although extremely rewarding, the lives of these infants, children, and adults are in your hands. What a scary thought!

I have worked at Driftwood Day Camp, a camp on Long Island, for the past three summers. I know many think the job is easy: "Watching the pool is so easy, anyone can do it" or "why do you need to be certified for this" is all I hear from whispers on the pool deck. It's the exact opposite, unfortunately. How would you feel if you were the reason for a child's death?

Not too great, right? That's a lifeguard's worst nightmare. This is why we take our job extremely seriously, and can't interact with anyone but the pedestrians utilizing the pool.

Waking up every morning at 7:00 a.m. was a struggle, as we had to be there by 8:00 a.m. every morning. It was a very long day at Driftwood. Starting at 9:00 a.m., I wouldn't get home to nearly 5:00 p.m., and on good days it would be 4:30 pm. It's a very long but worthwhile day.

As well as being a lifeguard for this amazing camp, I was also a swim instructor. At this day camp, like many others, the instructional swim is in the morning for all ages and free swim is in the afternoon after the camp eats lunch. I would say the mix between these parts of the day was a happy medium. I worked with ages as young as four years old to as old as 12-year-old boys and girls. The age difference was very interesting, as I learned how to teach both young and older ages. It was very fun having the opportunity to experience teaching both of these ages.

All in all, being a lifeguard and having these responsibilities can be very difficult at times. It's always important to ask questions if you are not certain about doing something correctly. You don't want to regret something you could have done to prevent an injury or life-threatening condition.

To be completely honest, lifeguarding has changed my life for the better. I have so much more respect as I aged over the past few years and experienced things the normal person would not have. This specific job entails a lot, however, it's always very rewarding to know that you're the individual who can save someone's life.

I am getting re-certified this summer in both lifeguarding and CPR/AED and First Aid and can't wait to hopefully get a job at the gym facilities at the University of Delaware this fall!

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.

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Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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