By Daniela Wainfor
No more waking up at 6 a.m. to get to school on time, no more stressing about getting assignments in on time, and no more finishing homework at 11 p.m. More like; waking up whenever you want, sitting poolside and enjoying an ice cold soda, and late night Insomnia Cookie runs with your friends. Two and a half months of break doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to enjoy the hot summer days, especially when those days are jam packed with trips, work, or volunteering. For a lot of students at UAHS, their summer schedules are busy, whether it be going on vacation, concerts, work, volunteering, or packing in as many activities as they can with their friends.
Although summer is of course all fun and games, some students look for more fulfilling experiences that will build life skills such as service learning in another country, focusing on an internship, and working almost everyday of the summer.
Senior Brianna Barrett chose to do something this summer that not everybody can bring themselves to do. This summer, Barrett took a three week trip to Tanzania, Africa to teach kids the English language and immerse herself in a culture different from her own.
Barrett spent three weeks of her summer break teaching kids in Africa the English language through a program called GLA in exchange for the cultural knowledge and appreciation that she gained while she was there.
“When we first tried to teach the kids, things were slow because no one wanted to raise their hands and answer the questions…as the weeks progressed…you could tell the kids were starting to understand a little bit better,” said Barrett.
With not a day wasted, Barrett and the other members spent their time doing fun activities and teaching the kids at the school as well as the orphanage in Tanzania.
Barrett loved working with the little kids that she met in Tanzania which is part of the reason why she chose this trip to Africa as opposed to doing another kind of service in a different country. But aside from teaching the local kids a different language, the members on the trip also had other cultural experiences such as interacting with a native tribe whose beliefs and traditions are very different from our own.
“This really helped me learn more about the world…it’s a really accepting place,” said Barrett of her overall experience in Tanzania.
Junior Holden Freeman spent his summer poolside- but not in the way you would think. Freeman actually spent his summer days sitting in the hard, white plastic lifeguard chairs saving lives and stuff at the newly renovated Tremont pool.
A majority of the students at UAHS choose to engage in a seasonal job for the summer in order to make some extra money for those late night pizza cravings.
“The staff is great, we all get along and joke around with each other,” Freeman said.
Freeman chose to work at Tremont as opposed to Devon because the hype around the newly renovated and remodeled pool was too big to pass up.
The job may not sound like it’s anything special considering your job is to sit in a chair and watch other people swim, but lifeguarding is a skill that not everybody is qualified for, and some pretty extensive training goes into making sure each guard is truly qualified for the job.
“ [The classes] were about seven hours each Sunday for about four or five weeks, it was pretty extensive,” said Freeman. “They teach you everything you need to know about CPR and First Aid.”
Freeman’s work schedule during the summer was busy, he had to work around his lifting schedule as well, so he worked mostly evenings, while still having time for a social life with his friends.
You learn a lot of skills on the job such as dealing with small kids as well as adults and how to communicate with people. Freeman thinks lifeguarding will prepare him for a future career and is willing to do it even in college if the opportunity presents itself. He also recommends the job to anyone to is thinking about it.
Brace yourselves, summer has come to an end and it’s time for the back to school antics that come each mid August. This summer was one for the books considering all of the eye-opening trips we took, and adventures we had. No more late night runs to Insomnia Cookies, but at least we’ll have the memories we made. And although this summer was filled with exciting vacations, it was also flooded with productive activities that make us better people because of the experience.