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UM student Orman enjoys being a lifeguard

Grace Orman is back in school after a rewarding summer at work.

The 21-year-old has been a lifeguard for the past seven summers and kept it up even after she was admitted to the Early Entry Pharmacy program at the University of Mississippi her senior year of high school.

Always involved, Orman has maintained her summer position at the Oxford Swim Club along with her rigorous course load and the challenges of being enrolled in one of the top pharmacy schools in the nation.

“It really is a great job!” said Orman.

Orman has been in a leadership role and prepared if someone got hurt, which has happened in her time there.

“There have been many children that I would have to retrieve after they jumped off the diving board and could not swim to the ladder or the side of the pool,” she said.  “There have also been few occasions where the children have fallen off the board onto the pool deck and we have to administer first aid to cuts and bruises. I have found that a frozen Popsicle can cure almost anything.”

Orman said one of the benefits of her schooling is that it requires all of her prerequisite pharmacy classes to be taken during the fall and spring semesters, so her summers have been free to spend time at the pool.

“Summer school is not an option,” she said. “My summers have been free to dedicate my time to the Oxford Swim Club. Last year when I was working, my classes were finished before the pool opened so I went straight to the pool after school. This year when Ole Miss Pharmacy School started, the pool was only opened on the weekends. It was easy to balance school and work then.”

Next summer will require even more of an effort to maintain her lifeguard position, but Orman has not backed out.

“Next summer I am going to have to shadow and work at pharmacies, so it will be more of a challenge with scheduling time to work at the pool,” she said.

She said her lifeguard position has been an enriching part of her young adulthood and she said it has given her the opportunity to grow close to families in the Oxford area over the summers.

“I have gotten the opportunity to teach some of them swim lessons when they were younger and now they are on the same swim team that I started on. So I like to think they will follow in my footsteps and become a lifeguard,” she said.

Orman was a member of the swim team for Oxford High School and she earned her lifeguard credentials through Ole Miss’ Turner Center. Many of her teammates got their training because they were already strong swimmers.

“Being a head lifeguard the past two years has taught me great leadership qualities that I will continue using in my pharmacy career. I have also made lifelong friendships with my fellow guards,” she said