by Kelly Mazzucco
Beach balls, barbecues, popsicles, water-balloon fights and “Call Me Maybe” help to define the most anticipated season of all: summer.
Although some may think a nice summer glow and nifty shades represent all summer has to offer, summer can also be a time where valuable lessons are learned. Despite the fact that teens are not in school, they can still soak up as much knowledge as sunshine.According to a 2008 article in the Star Tribune,“Summer jobs are, by definition, temporary. Their benefits, though, can last long after the job is over.”
Junior Tom Gerris, who caddies during the summer, explained that he has “learned to… communicate with adults better,” and that his job has “taught [him] responsibility and work ethic.”
Ms. Bonnie Cohen, the communications/development director at the Westfield Area Y, said becoming an intern at the Y “is a good way for someone thinking about a career to find out if it is really a direction they would like to go.”
Also, senior Brittany Fogel, who once took a tour to the west coast over the summer, said the experience taught her “a lot about being on [her] own and how to manage money.”
Sophomore Joey DeRosa travels to Ocean City each year and said that he has “learned how to socialize with new people.” Summer travel also exposes teens to a variety of cultures and contrasting ways of life, stated a USA Today article.
Similarly, kidshealth.org says that community service teaches teens the benefit of sacrifice, how to work as a team and leadership. Gerris, who also volunteers at a soup kitchen during the summer said: “I learned that there is more to working than getting money. I realized that it is fulfilling to help people in need.”
Late-night runs to Yapple Yogurt and Z100 jam sessions only partially define summer; real life lessons and new experiences are also a part of this season. For many teens, summertime offers ways to learn after the school doors close.