As the school year comes to a close, students find themselves searching to find a job in a competitive college town. The two months once spent relaxing and tanning in grade school have shifted drastically in priorities and purpose. Summer jobs for high school students are the first experience many students have to earn money for themselves. For first-time employees, the introduction of a new job was both stressful and exhilarating.
“I worked at Hy-Vee last year as a courtesy clerk,” senior Jordan Reiske said. “It’s not that I didn’t like my job there; I just wanted to venture out and try new jobs. I’m both nervous and excited about my new job as [a] lifeguard. There are just so many things that could go wrong while I’m on stand. I just hope that if something bad does happen, I will know what to do.”
The need to be able to perform well under stress allowed certain students to excel in the life-saving environment. Management positions were open to anyone who showcased an ability to excel under these conditions.
“It’s stressful to work at Wilsons’ because I feel like I have an obligation to set a good example for all the new people that will be working with me,” sophomore Colby Eaton said. “I also feel responsible for the lives of all the people who are in the pool when I’m guarding.”
Sophomore Riley Widhalm is a second-year employee at Wilson’s. Riley returns as the assistant manager of the snack shack.
“I’m a little nervous about all the new technology we’ll have, but I’m pretty excited,” Widhalm said. “I’m one of the older returning staff members, and I really feel at home here.”
With so many young people employed, there has to be an influential adult to lead the pack. This job falls on head guards such as RBHS alum Tristan Welsh, who worked at the pool last year.
“The biggest difference is probably that now every lifeguard’s actions reflect back to myself because I’m the one who trained them,” Welsh said. “If they mess up or act inappropriately at work, it all comes back to me. Besides that though, I’m pretty excited for this year.”
By Sean Doherty and Sara Forward