When I got out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that college wasn’t for me just yet. It wasn’t that I wasn’t smart enough, but that my parents didn’t have the money to pay my tuition, and I didn’t want to take out student loans. Plus I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It would be a waste for me to take out a loan and have no direction whatsoever. My uncle owned a Nashville roofing repair company and asked me to come work with him for the time being.
My parents and I talked about it, and we all decided that this would be a great way to gain life experience and save money for college in the future if I wanted to go in a few years. Even though I had been getting up and going to school for years, a Nashville roofing job was completely different. My uncle told me I wouldn’t be getting any special treatment. In fact, he said he was going to be even tougher on me than the rest of his roofing crew.
I thought I was in great shape to be on the roof and to use a hammer, but the days were long and hot. I soon found out just how much work these men did. I was amazed at how fast they were, and even though they were patient with me, I knew I needed to speed up my work. The roofing crew taught me a few tricks to help me get faster while still producing quality work.
I never knew how much math was involved in roofing, as well as how much a roof in Nashville costs, and even a little science. When I thought about a roof, I pretty much lumped all material in the same category. However, there are actually a lot of different options to choose from and they all perform in a different way. So many people choose the roof they want based on looks, but since I’ve had this job, I’ve learned that I want strength and quality materials over style. But everyone is different, and my uncle says the more I learn, the more I’ll change my mind.
Two years later I still work with my uncle and in two more years I’ll have enough money saved to go to school and get a degree in business. In the winter when business is slower, I’ve been able to take night classes to get a head start. When I get out of school, I hope to help expand my uncles roofing business. He said he would hire me in a second to be a supervisor because I’ve been in the trenches and done the hard labor, so he knows I would be fair.
I’m so glad I made the right decision for myself and waited to go to college until I had some real world experience. While I know my body wouldn’t be able to perform roofing duties until it was time to retire, I’ll never forget my years working on the roof.