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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A glimpse at what it's like living with Hypothyroidism: the abnormally low activity of the thyroid gland.

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Dear Thyroid,

You took so much away from me. My confidence. My excitement. My willingness to take opportunities. Even my happiness.

You made me hate myself, my body and my surroundings. You made me not want to be here anymore.

You allowed me to push away friends and family. You allowed me to totally lose myself.

I went from being athletic,energetic, and outgoing to becoming someone who was always in pain and discouragement.

You forced me to look into the mirror at someone double in size, yet half of a spirit.

You took chunks out of my long, beautiful hair and made it become thinner and thinner.

It wasn't my body anymore, it was yours.

You took me to many doctors that told me it was just a phase of adjustment to college. You made me feel deranged. You made me feel irrelevant.

Because of you, I will never have a normal metabolism, brain, heart, liver, or even reproductive system.

Because of you, I'll never believe I'm beautiful.

Because of you, everything changed.

But,

I realized who will really stick beside me, no matter how much I push them away.

I gained a new perspective on depression and how I'm no where near being alone.

I pushed through even though you fought so hard to keep me back.

I found a boy who reminds me I'm beautiful, even if he has to tell me everyday until I believe it.

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Not so Respectfully,

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Fiction On Odyssey: ​To Bleed Is To Write

There was a point in my life where writing felt like my only comfort in life. I was so dependent on it that when it left, I was gone. I thought I had left with it.

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Writing: the art that soothes my soul.


The thoughts that torment my every woken night,

Following me through my days

Shouting, whispering

Clawing at the edges of my mind

Each one trying to come first

As their grips slip and fall away


It is the one to see me ache at the very mention of what I would make them become.

Blood drips out of my head onto lined sheets of paper

Showing open jagged wounds for everyone to see;

To poke at. To prod.


The jabs are never twice the same. The pain becoming worse and worse until my woken nights become every waking hour. Nothing matters until those wounds are healed, until the sore has closed and the eyes have left me to fall in tearing into hardened skin with torn nails.

My hands start to shake. My eyes begin to water. I delve back into the oceans of my mind reaching out to grab a remaining hand, searching for the monster which once so willingly came, only to be left lost and empty-handed.

I swim deeper into the sea. I keep going don't know how long I can go on. My movements become slow, no longer moving in the fast paced motions in which I began. And as soon as I breathe out that last breath and the pressure becomes far too much to bear, I see it.

What a beautiful creature…

Everything disappears.

Bright light glares against my eyes, temporarily blinding me. Disoriented, I feel around blindly with my hands. I'm in bed. I swing my legs over the side of my bed. My body stiffens and I feel a smile slowly creep onto my face.

The wait was over.

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Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner.

Cover Image Credit:

https://unsplash.com/photos/BmXDpCCQCLY

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