The summer going into my freshman year of college, the one that followed my very last year of high school and arguably, the very last summer of the life I had been living for 18 years, was everything you hope a summer would be. I had a job watching kids 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. But aside from that I was spending every moment I could with all of the people I knew I would miss during the 9 months I would be at school. I did not let one moment go to waste and neither did anyone else. We were all on the same page. This adrenaline, the kind that was made up with both anxiety for the time approaching and nostalgia from the past few years of my life and the pure bliss I quickly decided came with it was what propelled me through the summer.
Every weekend was a grad party filled with all the people who had consumed the past four years of my life and more. I shopped for my dorm, I talked with people about my future and what I had planned. I was met with both excitement for what was to come and utter contentment and gratitude for what had come already. The perfect concoction of feelings. I look back on that summer with such envy.
College is fantastic, it is better than I ever anticipated. And while college, in one year, becomes just as familiar as what you left behind, we all miss home and home friends and while were living it up at school were anticipating living it up at home for the summer. I remembered the summer I had just experienced and could not wait for a repeat.
While I cannot speak for all, I feel I speak for many in saying; sure summer has been good, but it isn't last summer, it isn't college, and I have never felt more confused or out of place in my life.
An entire year is spent learning, and loving living on your own when all of the sudden you are thrown back home to your parents. As far as freedom goes, my parents are very giving and they fully understand that I am an adult now and while I still may be living under their roof, I have my own life to live. However, it is in their nature to worry about me, to ask where I am, what I am doing today, what I want for dinner etc. etc. At school I answered, for the most part, only to myself. I called the shots every single day and that kind of freedom is not easy to give up.
The friends you shared last summer with have also created their own lives. Not everyone comes home. Some people are away at school for the summer or throw themselves into internships. Others find themselves working while they have the time to make money. While we all might be right back were we started, we have spent 9 months apart doing very different things, with very different people and have become uniquely ourselves, just as we were suppose to. We are all a little different after these 9 months of college whether we admit it or not and secretly, at least for a majority of us, we all want to be back at school.
While nothing could ever replace the feeling of home and the much needed time that should be spent their, it isn't college. Your friends don't live 5 feet from you. Something isn't always going on every weekend. You do not have unlimited freedom.
This all comes down to my obvious conclusion: that this summer is nothing like last summer. and before thinking deeply about this, I would tell you that this summer has not been as great as last summer. However, I not so quickly have come to realize that this summer is simply just different. Not bad, different. And if I continue to compare each stage of my life to previous ones, I will constantly be disappointed. While this summer has been rocky, it has given me an appreciation for change and the wisdom to know that I should accept and welcome every part of my life for what it is, not what it isn't or what it should be. I am deciding to take this summer, and each new stage of my life, as its own entity. It's own experience. It's own adventure.