Some of my best memories are from the summertime. Growing up, I remember long summer days in Texas and Oklahoma, walking barefoot in the backyard and all over the neighborhood. There were no deadlines or assignments, just a curfew and an expectation to go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays. Those days have left more on me than just the freckles on my skin. They left a desire to be in the sun and to be careless and free again.
As I grew, summer began to fill up and become more structured. I would go to summer camps or work a summer job. Obligations began to overtake the time that used to mean relaxation. My freshman year of college was the last time I had a summer that was free of responsibilities. The next year saw summer classes and work. Now I am coming up on my first summer as a full-time employee. Being an events coordinator means that my summer is going to be the exact opposite of what I have described at the beginning of this post. I will spend every day, including many weekends, at work putting on events. I will work harder than I ever have putting on multiple events every weekday. I will finally be done with classes, but I will fill the time with work.
This is the hard part of growing up. Breaks aren’t as obvious or as relaxing as they once were. I’m realizing that if I want to take a vacation, I am going to have to schedule it months in advance. This is what you don’t realize as a child or as a young person. The concept of summer will drastically change during the different phases of your life. Unfortunately for most, the afore-mentioned careless summers will never exist for them again until they retire and their whole life becomes summer.
So what I am saying to the students out there is, enjoy your summers while they last. Make memories, make friendships, make mistakes. Live while you are young - as cliché as that might sound, it’s so important to remember. As an adult, you will never have so much time dedicated to relaxing and enjoying life. You will have to create your own “mini-summers” on the weekends and over the holidays. Use the time while you have it to discover what makes you happy, and pursue it. Give yourself something to look back on fondly while you sit at your desk in the middle of June on a gorgeous day. These memories will help get you through the periods of “winter” in your life.
Speaking of summer vacations, Kay is on one for the next two weeks! She'll write when she gets back.