Just as during the school year, you operate on a schedule in the summertime. Like a blossoming flower, you spring yourself out of your blankets and out of bed. Your morning routine flows as swiftly as pollen through the wind but cuts to a stop immediately when you realize work starts in five minutes! You bolt to your car and barely make it there in time. Upon reaching your destination, you are greeted by a wall of chlorine and the screams of children. Welcome to your summer job…

This, of course, is an exaggeration of what my morning routine really is between the months of June and August. However, this seems to be an accurate representation of what many think they would have to go through on a daily basis. I’m here to tell you that summer jobs come in a wide variety and can be some of the most rewarding experiences.

Personally, my ideal summer is spent at the pool. I enjoy teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding. It is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had because it allows me to teach children a useful skill. The ability to swim could save their lives or make their trips to the beach a little bit better. The best part of teaching, however, is the feeling after seeing mass amounts of improvement in my students’ abilities. The knowledge that I made a difference in a child’s life by teaching them a new skill fills my heart with feelings of joy and achievement. However, as I said before, swimming is not the only option for working, or even teaching. The summer brings with it numerous opportunities in almost every sport or activity, so if teaching is your forté, I encourage you to reach out to anyone who is involved in a program to see if they are hiring new instructors.

Teaching, of course, is only scratching the surface. There are so many job opportunities available to high school students during the summer. Stereotypical ones include lifeguarding, being a camp counselor, or working at a restaurant. It’s important to remember though, that there are many many more jobs out there.

Sophomore Davon Collins is going to be a golf caddy at Philadelphia Country Club. He was able to obtain this position by simply calling the caddy master from a phone number he found on the club’s website. Collins explained that there was a quick training process he had to undergo before he was hired: “I had to shadow a professional golf caddy for a full game.” After he demonstrated his likeability and people skills, the decision to hire him was obvious. Collins’ situation provides an excellent example of how to achieve a job by simply taking initiative.

Whether these aforementioned positions seem appealing or not, there is one thing that makes it all worth it—your paycheck. Being a swim instructor has not been my only job but has been the only one I truly enjoyed. That being said, I still reaped the benefits of all of the aspects of my employment. For example, in my opinion, lifeguarding is really boring, but during the last week of summer, doing something I found boring paid off. The pool was paying triple the normal rate due to lack of lifeguards. Before this offer was made, I would have never dreamed of working at a facility that requires a daily excavation of feces from a public swimming pool. But, triple pay meant that $8 per hour turned into $24 per hour—an irresistible offer. By the end of the season, I was tired of the work but was very happy to see my paycheck. Even if you find a job you’re not excited about, the payoff is always worth it. You will appreciate seeing that extra money in your bank account later on.

Overall, summer jobs provide you with a rewarding and important experience for your future role in the workforce. Whether you love what you do or or not, it is necessary to find something that gives you the tools early in life to succeed in later years.