It has always been a pleasure of mine to meet new people, especially ones with different opinions, mentalities, and cultures. That’s why I found this job to be perfectly suited for me. In spite of the long hours spent waiting for the group of students who snuck out in the middle of the night, running around to gather everyone during the day and trying to get them out of the pool and into their rooms at night, there is nothing more satisfying than being treated with respect and love by these people who were not aware of your existence just a week before.
At the start of it all, I was a bit sceptical of spending my whole summer stuck inside with a bunch of “spoilt brats that did not know the definition of respect”. That was my initial stereotypical judgement of these students. However, day after day, I realised that, the same way I was adventurous, curious and simply annoying when I was younger (I still am, considering I’m only 5 years tops older than them, some are only several months younger than me). By time, I realised that feelings were reciprocal in the short relationship with the students; if you treat them like 5 year olds, they’ll probably think you’re an asshole and get into more trouble for the simple reason to piss you off and make you hate them more. However, if you act like their friend, listening to them, playing and joking around and actually making them feel at home, they will look up to you more and will actually try and not get into trouble (by that, I mean that they will tell you they’re sneaking out before they run to Paceville). However, they will surely be the ones to cry and cling to you not wanting to go when their departure is due and the transport is waiting to leave.
As in every job, there will be those that will make you want to bash their head in with a baseball bat and hide them in the freezer. However, through patience and determination, it is not impossible to convince them that you’re not their prison officer, but actually their friend, guidance and support system. Keeping in mind that they are only teenagers, they are liable to be over-confident, cocky and arrogant as much as they will probably be insecure, introverted and susceptible to peer pressure. It is important to make sure that everyone is enjoying themselves not by trying to impress their roommates or the opposite sex, but by actually feeling at home.
You can say that my job is to be a parent to highly emotional, hyperactive teens that suffer from very bad cases of mood swings. It may be a burden sometimes, but it is an experience that has taught me a lot and I will truly cherish. Kudos also goes out to my amazing work mates, the NSTS Crew, who are truly amazing and make this job as fun and enjoyable as it is.