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The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

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The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Just Add Water (And a Lifeguarding Certification)

Just Add Water (And a Lifeguarding Certification)
Colgate Athletics

Do you dream of sandy shores and crystal blue water? While Hamilton, N.Y., may be the furthest thing from a beach-y paradise, there’s still a chance to live your “Baywatch” fantasies here at Colgate University. All it requires is a lifeguarding gig at Lineberry Natatorium.

Students who feel called by the water can apply to sit poolside and keep watch, a job junior Sophie Cucinotta, a former lifeguard, characterized as relaxing.

“It’s actually a really fun work environment, and it’s pretty low-stress most of the time, so you get a lot of time to chat and get to know the people you work with,” Cucinotta said.

Lifeguards have many duties, which senior lifeguard Audra Fitzergald explained range from mundane tasks to more skilled ones.

“I keep watch over the pool, count patrons, lock [or] unlock the doors [and] things like that,” Fitzergald said. “As one of the supervisors, I also rotate checking the [chlorine] levels.”

Junior Angie Ramirez, who has also put in hours as a lifeguard, commented on the nature of the job as well as what led her to the role.

“I picked the job because I had recently gotten my lifeguarding certification at Colgate and decided to put it to use,” Ramirez said. “My favorite part is that I get to work ahead on my homework while I’m not in the lifeguarding chair, and it’s a pretty easy and self-explanatory job for the most part.”

Lifeguarding comes with more perks than simply a paycheck: Along with the chance to warm up in the natatorium, student lifeguards can potentially earn PE credits, as well. They also have the chance to meet other members of the community who work at or visit the pool.

“I picked this job because […] I could get two gym credits by doing lifeguard training,” Cucinotta said. “Also, I have a passion for chlorine level maintenance.”

Senior Kimaya Shahi, another current lifeguard on campus, enjoys her position as a lifeguard for the Chenago Water Group (CWEG).

“I guard for [CWEG] from 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays,” Shahi said. “They have all sorts of classes, like water aerobics, water yoga [and more]. They are always so lovely, chatty and friendly, and it’s an amazing way to start the day.”

Different types of people are able to enjoy aquatic activities, which means that lifeguards interact with Colgate students, faculty and Hamilton community members who come to the pool.

“I love the people I get to work with because there’s such a variety,” Fitzgerald said. “Some of them are in high school here, some are peers that I’ve never met before, and others are staff of Colgate who wanted another job. I also love the patrons. The regulars are the best part, and they are so thankful and give back to us all the time.”

With a friendly environment, supportive staff and multiple perks, what is there not to love about being a lifeguard? While some may argue it could become monotonous, there are far worse ways to spend your time than sitting by a pool and earning money.

“I would highly recommend being a lifeguard to anyone on campus,” Fitzgerald said. “The people you work with are amazing, and so are all the staff in the pool and Huntington [Gymnasium].”

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About the Contributor
LJ Coady
LJ Coady, Baker's Dozen Editor (Fall)
LJ Coady is a junior from Houston, TX concentrating in political science with minors in history and religion. She has previously served as a writer for the Baker's Dozen, Arts & Features, News, and Commentary sections.

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