Every summer, the Grant Magazine staff holds a journalism camp for rising seventh through ninth graders. Their stories are posted here, on the Grant Magazine website.
Cole Gardner, 19, graduated from Grant High School with the 2015 class – though, he’s not quite done with the school yet. Since sophomore year, he’s been a lifeguard at the Grant pool and says that the job has always been a fun way to interact with the community.
On top of patrolling the pool area, constantly scanning for any emergency needs – Gardner often opens and closes the pool, as well. Which makes for many early mornings and late nights for Gardner. To open,
“It gives me something to do in the summer when it’s very easy to get bored and just sit around all day,” he says.
For Cole, it’s more than just a summer job. It’s money for college. Next year, he will attend Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. Cole thinks of pursuing engineering, preferably mechanical engineering.
He ways excelled in math and enjoyed science — he’s found that engineering is a great mix of the two for him. Gardner tells in a phone interview about how he doesn’t enjoy math as much as science, but at the same time is better at math than science.
Math is a lot of formulas, which is one of the reasons Gardner doesn’t enjoy math as much. Physics, mechanics and biology are among his favorite sciences. They all are sciences of how things work. But math and science aren’t his only interests. Cole refers to himself as “multifaceted.”
He’s happy to do a whole range of things from art to history. His favorite styles of art being classical, cubism and Renaissance era. When asked what era if any he would time travel to, he replied: “The Renaissance.”
Cole’s training included five- to eight-hour days for a whole week. He learned useful skills such as CPR, what to do in medical emergencies and most importantly how to save someone if they’re drowning. Cole has never actually had to save someone but he did have a small test thrown at him.
“I did lifeguarding because my mom did it when she was younger and she kind of pressured me to do it and it seemed like a really good gig because it pays above minimum wage and it’s really not super difficult as far as manual labor. It’s just not a difficult job, that doesn’t mean it’s not stressful or hard but it’s like backbreaking. It can be laid back at times and more experience you get there’s a lot of perks.”
As the summer starts to wrap up, Gardner only gets closer to starting on the tough path of college, a new experience that will soon turn into daily life for him. Cole looks forward to meeting new people and starting fresh, and that’s exactly what college can offer him.