The summer between my junior and senior year I worked practically nonstop. From July 3rd to August 25th I worked 7 days a week, at least 5 hours a day balancing between an internship and my first job as a lifeguard. On top of that I managed to save money by taking a free math class at my community college and I did still get to hang out with friends every week.
I started working because I know myself, I can’t sit at home and do nothing for two and a half months I desire to constantly be productive. Working I built my savings for college while creating memories and experiences to last a lifetime.
Getting An Internship
Early May I applied for as many theatre summer internships as I could. Majoring in theatre and writing, I knew I had to work and get the feel for an actual theatre. I landed at the Dallas Children’s Theatre where I helped with a summer camp and explored the space.
This was my very first paid internship and it was so easy to do! I wrote skits for students to perform, sat in the audience and sang along to their songs, then on performance day I made sure they didn’t miss their entrances. Dressed in elaborate costumes, the 5-year-olds became something they could only in their wildest dreams. Impacting those children by guiding them through art and inspiring them to continue felt wonderful.
While there, I surrounded myself with professional theatre people and forged connections to last a life time. Understanding where there’s a will, there’s a way and that so many paths obtain the exact same destination. And all I had to do was inspire kids to participate in what I loved.
Earning Money On The Side
Knowing my internship was a mere four weeks out of the 12-week summer; that my car I’d been given would be available; and that I needed to earn money for college, I searched for a job. I got this idea stuck in my mind of being a lifeguard. Growing up with a swimming pool and loving amusement parks, I ended up employed at Hawaiian Falls. The work was so invigorating – I loved it. I was active constantly and a keen focus was vital to my acquired responsibilities. That I could and did several times save a life was beyond my mental grasp of importance.
Throughout the season, I picked up extra shifts, worked most weekends, adding up to 50 hour weeks between my interning and guarding. I couldn’t keep away, what started as a mere job became so much more than that. A family would get to spend another day with their child- because of me. A mother dehydrated, falling under in front of her kids can see them grow-up a little longer, because of me. Subdued under the water is my red tube saving the child in front of me. I receive a blank stare from the limbs and body draped over my tool of safety. “What went wrong?” I might say, sparking conversation that surely runs to “I don’t know.” A lifejacket is pointed out to them as I return to my umbrella upon a chair. The seat, my relief. The drink, my revitalization. The content, a dream come true. I did my job and that’s the best I can do.
Having A Purpose
I loved having a purpose that summer. To allow children the resources and support to flourish as artists then ensure the safety of the people just coming to enjoy a Texas summer day by soaking themselves in water. I worked to earn close to five thousand dollars. Studying a dual-degree in theatre and writing at Boston University seems a little bit more in reach because of my own personal contribution. And it only seems plausible to do it all over again this summer. Beginning by working for me and ending working for everyone aside from myself, I took up a packed summer no one thought I would persevere through and the outcomes I hope to never take for granted.
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Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
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