First Job

By Sophie Schwarz

What’s a productive way to spend your summer? Learning valuable life skills while earning money. Last summer, the summer after my freshman year, I got my first job at West Valley Gymnastics. Working summer gymnastics camps, which are only three hours a day, was a great addition to my summer. Working this summer helped teach me a lot of new skills such as time management, patience, and responsibility. Instead of ruining my sleep schedule by going to bed in the early hours of the morning and sleeping until noon, I had to discipline myself by going to bed at a reasonable time because of work the next morning. Working with a different set of kids every week also tested my patience because, sometimes, I work with 3-year-olds that don’t feel like listening to anything anyone says, and all they want to do is run around screaming; while other times I worked with 12-year-olds with too much attitude. Lastly, teaching gymnastics to summer camp kids requires a ton of responsibility because while the kids are at camp, us coaches are responsible for whatever happens to them. While sometimes it is easy and I got lucky and I would spend my morning leading a perfect group of four year olds through obstacle courses and teaching forward rolls, often it was not that easy. Sometimes, kids would decide they wanted to try to see how many times they could flip in the air before landing on their heads, others would just start crying no matter what happened, and some would fake an injury to get out of their least favorite event. Although threatening to take away free time often got the kids in line and magically solved a sprained ankle, sometimes more unique situations required some imagination. Overall, I had a great experience with my first job.