As summer vacation starts to pack up its clothes and shut the door, I can't help but look back and smile on the summer I was very lucky to have. It wasn't all summer tans and margaritas but the good most certainly outweighed the bad.
From the start, I got to live with my very best friend, like homies since fifth grade best friend, so I knew that no matter what was going to happen I had my best gal by my side.
Which was definitely a good thing.
While our sublease situation was not the cleanest or ideal, we ended up making the best out of our shell of a home and it now holds a lot of great summer memories. The ceiling might have peeled off, and the floors may have had a perpetual layer of dust but for two and a half months that was our home.
I also had an amazing internship with Respite Care Charleston.
I spent two and a half months not only paling around with my college friends but also with two fantastic groups of new old friends. As an intern, I was able to hang out with and get a better understanding with about 15 elderly people who had Alzheimer's or dementia and that was certainly an eye-opening moment.
Some things you truly can't understand without meeting it firsthand. At my internship, I was able to do see what it's like in the caregiver's shoes. Not the complete 24/7 care but I got a glimpse.
I was able to walk, talk, dance, sing, craft, and hug these amazing people. One thing I think people forget about Alzheimer's and dementia is that you mainly can't see it from the outside so you can't point it out from a crowd. Also, people with Alzheimer's or dementia are more than just someone with the ailments.
They have lived an entire life before their disease; they had a family, a job, friends, hobbies, good habits, bad habits, and an independent life. They did all the things we have done or have yet to do. They are more than their disease. And now more than ever do I want to shape my career path towards helping the elderly and there is now an extra tug on my heart for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
One of our participants is a kind soul who every once in a while reminded us to keep on keeping on with what we all needed to do. There were most definitely moments this summer that I made that my motto.
I also worked two part-time jobs. Hey, a gal has got to pay her bills so I kept my usual part-time retail job and added on another one at a tour company. First let me say, I worked with the very fun and kind coworkers at both of my jobs. I am fortunate to have gotten to meet them and hope to see them again.
Working two jobs and an internship was also a very valuable life lesson for me. I caught a glimpse of what it's going to be like when I graduate and the lifestyle I eventually hope to lead is going to take some work to get to. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, right?
Along the way this summer, I noticed a few things about myself that I think need some attention and some tweaking so I added that to my list of things to do. There's no time like the present to start working on yourself. I also dyed my hair blonde, got a new internship for the fall and met an awesome guy.
While summer closes up shop and the school year settles in, I can't help but wonder what lies ahead of me. How long will this blonde phase last? What crazy things will I do with my friends next? For now, I just have to keep on keeping on.