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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Senior teaches young swimmers at the YMCA

Senior Emily Nguyen stands in the middle of pool and gestures to Erin, a nervous 5-year-old girl holding onto the wall, to swim toward her. Slowly letting go, Erin swims shakily and ungracefully, but eventually makes it to Nguyen, grabbing her arms and smiling triumphantly.
This is a typical day on the job for Nguyen, a swim instructor who teaches young children the basics of swimming at the Southwest YMCA on Quito Road. Because Nguyen had a YMCA membership, she swam at the gym regularly and a lifeguard there suggested she apply to be a swim coach. 
Although she started working just to stay busy during the summer between junior and senior year, Nguyen found it extremely fulfilling and stuck with it throughout the school year.
“I really enjoy interacting with kids and I've been swimming my entire life, so I thought I could share all of my tips and tricks that I have learned over the years to help my students succeed,” Nguyen said. “I thought it would be a fun job to have, and so far, it has been.”
While she was dealing with a difficult course load and a number of college applications during her first semester of senior year, Nguyen still found time to work for six hours a week. 
“I would work right after school, and since I didn’t have a seventh period at the time, it was not stressful at all,” Nguyen said.
The flexibility of the job also helped to avoid scheduling problems and gave her a certain amount of leeway, while teaching her how to manage time. Her coaching schedule is molded to fit her extracurriculars, like piano, orchestra and volunteering, and if a conflict arises, she can ask others to sub for her.
Although she was able to manage her busy schedule during first semester, Nguyen still found herself exhausted at night when faced with piles of homework and numerous tests to study for. 
“It requires a lot of energy to stay upbeat and excited while teaching, and I get really tired,” she said. “It makes it harder for me to finish my school work efficiently.”
Due to her commitment to the school swim team during the spring sports season, she has cut down her working hours to two hours a week. 
“Since I’m graduating this year and will be going to college in the fall, I won’t be able to continue my job for much longer,” she said. “But I will definitely try to continue working for as long as I can.”
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