Many moons ago, I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor. It was one-part boring (life guarding) and two parts fun (co-workers and teaching… although, after 4 hours in the water, it could get kinda cold). I taught a lot of the little kiddie classes. I remember getting so wildly excited when a kid would actually swim for the first time (this stuff actually works!), and it was always so amazing how quickly they would learn.
The biggest leap was the one they took into the deep-end. It was generally always the same: we would climb out of the shallow end, make a single-file line and march down to the deep end. I would climb in first, move a few meters back from the wall and invite each student (one at a time) to jump in a swim to me. For the most part, the reaction was always the same: nervous fists tucked up under the chin, toes to the edge, deep breath….
They would come up and look panicked for a moment, and they they would realize that they were swimming in the deep end. A smile crossed their face as they reached my arms before they turned and pushed off from me with confidence back to the wall. Confidence grew with each time they went.
If I used two words to describe this internship, it would be DEEP END (and some days, deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep end). I think I’m still kinda in that coming up after jumping in with that panicked look on my face. I’m not drowning. My head has come back up above the water, but I’m feeling a little out of my element (ok, a LOT). But with each day, I am checking more and more things off my “to do” list. Becky (a BCIT grad and incredible designer) has been the best guide. On Friday she was guiding me through how to do door ordering through referring back to AUTO CAD drawings and a door schedule and she said, “you won’t even learn how to do this in school until 3rd year” (for the record, I am just finishing 1st year).
Total deep end.
But now I know how to read door schedules. And I guess my boss has been impressed, he was talking about me to Becky and said something along the lines of me being a person who has has grabbed this internship by the balls. So I must be pretty good at covering up my moments of panic, or maybe it’s that my drive to learn and master everything just outshines the fear.