Five Things I Learned From My 5 Year Olds

August 7, 2015

As of today I have just one week left with my job at the YMCA. If you didn't know, this summer I got a job as a summer camp counselor. I'd had been wanting this job for some years now, and couldn't wait for the summer I would old enough for it. I lead a group of 5 years old which is super challenging, but so worth it. This summer has been a whirlwind, and as happy as I am to see it go, my heart still breaks at the thought of leaving my little Cubs (thats our little mascot). 

Not only am I taking  a new step in my education, but they are too. Just as I am starting college, they're starting Kindergarten at "big kid school"! I am so thrilled for them, and I pray that I've positively influenced them in some way for this next step in their lives. Going into this, I wanted to make sure I taught my kids about life and how to be good people. But I never expected to learn so many things from them. This is Five Things I Learned From My 5 Year Olds.

1. We are all different.
I had over 20 little ones this summer, and they were all so different. All so weird in their own ways. While many of them shared common cultures, believes, and interests, none of them came close to being the same as someone else. They showed me just how diverse this world is. And that we have to be open to people of all walks of life.

2. Looks don't really matter.
The Cubs would come into camp all put together, but leave like they'd been in a mud war. This was every single day, and no one ever complained. The girls got their little skirts and hair bows all ragged up, and the boys' new sneakers and baseball caps were just weathered away. No one cared one bit. They just played and played without a care in the world. It got me to thinking. I need to start living more like this.

3. Consistency is key, but spontaneity is good too.
With them, I had to develop some structure. I watched other groups all over the place, because there was no boundaries. The Cubs knew how things were to go, and they knew what lines not to cross. Because they were so trained, spontaneous treats were so much fun. Whether it was cupcakes or new water toys, the little smiles on their faces from something new made me so happy.

4. Responsibility is tough.
This was the first time I had to be truly responsible. Not only for myself, but for all of these kids as well. Their parents trusted me, an 18 year old high school graduate, with their most precious "belongings". Their offspring! I feel a huge sense of responsibility during field trips especially. I just imagine something happening them to them. Not on my watch. Not on anyone's watch! Being responsible of someone else's life definitely put my own into perspective.

5. I wanna be a teacher!
And lastly, my little headaches helped me make a decision that I've been struggling with for a while. They made me realize, that education is in fact the right path for me. I want to be a teacher. I want to touch the lives of children, and educate them at the same time. Even though this job drove me crazy, it has giving my life so much meaning. I can't tell you how happy I am that this summer happened.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have those kids as apart of my life. My love for children has grown enormously, and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me. This was a summer to remember, and my Cubs will have a place in my heart always. 

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