Picking a summer job before going to college is honestly such a hard decision. You could be a lifeguard, a cashier, a babysitter, you name it. But, there’s one job that can prepare you for anything, and that’s being a camp counselor. You would be surprised by how being one of these crazy, committed 17 or 18 year olds really prepares you for college.

When we were younger, one of the most overused quotes by our parents was: “Patience is a virtue.” As a camp counselor, you end up living by that quote. Learning how to be patient with kids really prepares you for college because college kids are basically five year olds with a little bit more sense on what they want to be when they grow up. They’re still going to have days when they don’t understand something, and it’s then (like working on a group project) that being patient and understanding their weaknesses really helps benefit the whole. Patience really is a virtue when it comes to kids, but more importantly, when it comes to working with people your own age.

Something you don’t realize until you’re a camp counselor is how committed one should really be to a job. Special days at camp are some of the reasons that kids attend camp, such as Braids ‘n’ Shades Day, Kangaroo Court, Mission Impossible and Gold Rush. Those are days that the counselors and campers dress up together, and it’s a chance to really bond with the kids. This prepares you for spirit days at work, but also prepares you for spirit days at college! So here’s your chance to go hard or go home before you actually have to go hard at school. It’s like a warm-up to the actual thing.

After being a summer camp counselor, you’re able to handle screaming that happens down the hallways. Yes, this happens. At least, from what a lot of people in college have said. There are always going to be people on your floor that choose to be loud and obnoxious, and there’s not much that you can do about it. But, you will find the ability to tune out all of the loud noises that take place in the hall. After dealing with many, many, many, many, many kids that scream and run around, you’ll be able to handle other 18 year olds running around because it’s basically the same thing that happens, except the bodies are bigger.

All in all, being a camp counselor just prepares you for everyday life. You meet new people (and parents, maybe) every day, you learn to handle the stresses in life and you learn to handle the people that you meet, which is the most important thing. After all, these next four (or more) years become your life, and if you can handle 12 six-year-old girls screaming during a rainy day schedule, you can pretty much handle anything.

Lead Image Credit: Disney Channel, Sudden Motion Productions and Alan Sacks Productions