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Paving a Path to the Future

Summers have become busier and busier as students apply for jobs and internships that compete for their leisure time. Those jobs have much more meaning than what meets the eye. They also help students know what they want to do in the future.

Photo by William Thomas

The staff at Lindenwood University get together to form an old school pyramid to share with corporate during summer 2018. The staff at this camp was the largest in the Midwest region, reaching a total of 500 campers during that week.

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As we mature, one of the most common questions we hear as upperclassmen in high school and college students is, “What are you planning to do with your life?”

As teenagers, we are expected to know what we’re going to be doing for the greater portion of our lives.

At 19, not even a fourth of the way through my life, I am asked questions that I don’t even want to think about yet. I am treated as an adult in this scenario, but others still regard me as a child.

Instead of stuttering and leaving relatives and friends confused by our answer, time and preparation go into our response.

Most often we give a vague answer and walk away as quickly as possible and find a place to sulk about the future that we are expected to know about. Part of the load we carry as college students and legal adults is the expectation of wisdom and knowledge that comes with years of experience.

We go in search for our own experience in the midst of busy schedules. We go to school, play sports, try to make deep friendships; on top of all that, we are also encouraged to go out and seek employment.

Each summer, we go out into our communities looking for internships and summer jobs to get  funds for our exciting summers and long school years that, at times, don’t allow for full-time jobs.

On top of earning money for the year and giving us a greater appreciation for our youth, our jobs give us insight for our future. Although I didn’t realize it at first, my summer job has led me to my answer; as crazy as it sounds it showed me my love of words, writing and public speaking.

My first summer job began the summer before my freshman year of college started, and it was nerve wracking. I still work for a company called Varsity every summer, specifically for the National Cheerleaders Association.

This company has taught me so much and led me to an exciting future, one where I get to communicate through words and actions.

My first year as an instructor for the NCA, I was given a microphone to teach hundreds of high school students a class at camp.

My hands were shaking and my mind was all over the place, but after that first time, I grew excited to speak in front of people.

Each summer I return, I am excited to help new staffers, and am thankful for the job that prepared me for my future job more than I ever thought possible.

Had it not been for this opportunity, I might have never gotten comfortable in front of crowds and I could have been led toward a different area of study.

On the other hand, some summer jobs can lead us in the opposite direction, teaching and telling us that we should not be going into a particular field.

When I was younger, I decided that I wanted to work in pharmacy; after a long day shadowing a family friend in the field, I discovered that it was not the place for me.

I realized I did not have a passion for science, and I would rather pursue something that focused on communicating with others.

Not all jobs will inspire and encourage us to continue into that field of work. Nonetheless, they are still able to teach us and guide us in a different direction.

Working as a landscaper could either encourage someone to begin their own landscaping business or encourage them to look into fields with less labor.

Our summer jobs have great value in the ways that they offer us insight as to what we want to pursue in life as well as serve the purpose of trial and error as we explore different fields.

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Sarah Broyles

Sarah Broyles

Sarah Broyles is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. Sarah is a junior public relations major. The St. Louis native currently works for her family business, Etiquette Saint Louis, and is a staff instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association. After graduating she plans to work in corporate public relations and continue to use words to make an impact in society.

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