Even though most high schools don’t get out for another few weeks, the long days of summer have already arrived for some college students. For many, the word “summer” brings to mind thoughts of sunny days at the lake, evening bonfires and spending time with friends. While I want these things as much as the next finally-free student, my summer rolled off to a rather bumpy start.
After several stressful weeks writing papers, prepping for exams and taking aforementioned exams, the only thing on my list of to-dos when I finally reached home included sleeping in and recuperating. On my first full day of freedom at home, I received a rather rude awakening. Instead of sleeping in, I rose before the sun to help get my siblings to school. To add icing to an already exhausting morning, a flat tire was discovered on our mode of transportation.
Now, to some, the realization that there was a flat tire would be little than a small road bump to be quickly fixed by adding air to the tire or changing the flat. The former being the sensible quick-fix to the problem, my brother offered to do so. This only highlighted the fact that the tire could not be patched and would need to be changed. Uh-oh.
As someone who has had her license for quite some time, one would think I would know how to change a tire. After all, if a tire had gone flat prior to now, it would have been necessary to know that information; however, I had no idea what I was doing. I figured it couldn’t be too hard, though, and I determined to figure it out.
Three hours later and with the help of my brother, the tire had been successfully changed. (Well, almost successfully — one of the lug nuts was lost in the process as it broke off from rust. Oops!) I managed to get them to school only four hours behind schedule and get the vehicle in for some legitimate help. Throughout this bumpy first day of summer, I came to some realizations.
First, there is still so much I want (and need) to know. The fact that I didn’t learn how to change a flat tire until I was 19 years old speaks volumes about how much more have yet to learn. Granted, 19 isn’t that old, but living in a place where the roads are either horrendously potholed or dirt means the possibility of a flat tire is ever-present. Just to be on the safe side of life, I think I’ll try to learn how to fix the various problems with a car this summer, among other things.
Second, it’s good to try something new. Of course, if we’re talking new things, I think I would rather take my chances with sushi or caviar. But learning how to solve problems that occur in daily life is never a bad thing. I’m rather glad to have the ability to change a tire now.
Third, technology is great but not perfect. While cars are hardly new (the first vehicles came out in the early 1900s), they are always at risk to break down on you. Just as phones and computers and every other type of technology that has come to be an integral part of society can suffer from life’s wear and tear, cars are no different. Neither are humans, but just as we pick ourselves up when things fall down, technology can also be fixed. Just like my flat tire.
Finally, we need each other. While I could have changed that flat by myself if I really had to, having my brother there to help and do a lot of the work was really great. I hadn’t realized how much I missed my family at college until that time, when we worked together to get the tire changed. His prior experience with watching a tire be changed certainly helped us fix ours, and I was more than grateful to have him there when we finally finished. As much as we like to think we can handle things on our own, accepting help doesn’t mean we are weak. It just means we recognize how much stronger we can be with others.
I guess what I’m really trying to say here is this: thank God I got a flat tire on my first day of summer. Hopefully, summer will roll smoothly from here.