If I were to choose a single word to describe the last three weeks of the school year, it would be whirlwind. It was certainly one of the most action-packed times I've ever experienced. Between dead week, final tests, projects, and moving out, I didn't really have much of a chance to process all that happened.
Over the years, I've experienced numerous transitions - changing cities, countries, continents, and stages of life. There are going to be so many changes next year - new faces on campus and friends who are now on other paths. However, things will also be eerily similar. The stairs by my dorm will still be the same - steep and treacherous. I'll have classes with many of the same professors, and I'll get to room with the wonderful girl who's become one of my best friends.
With summer, we are blessed with a season of rest. Even though many of us will have jobs and family obligations, at least we won't have to worry about homework. In the past, my summers have been eaten up by a combination of responsibilities and frivolities. Though I'm certain that will inevitably be the case this year, I also want to be sure to do the things I always wish I had time for throughout the school year. For example, I want to read voraciously and with abandon, relaxing in the worlds the words create. I want to complete one (or five) art projects, many of which will grace the walls of our room. I want to start and maintain routines that will enrich and benefit my life in the long-run.
However, most of all, I want to invest in people. There's a wonderfully sassy refugee girl that I want to throw a birthday party for. There are friends to meet for coffee and laugh with late into the night. There are two little girls that I'll be taking care of fairly frequently over the summer, and I want to help enrich their imaginations and show them just how much they matter (and a busy mom that I want to give a bit of relief).
There's a Louis L'Amour quote that's hounded me since I first heard it - "How many are the lives we meet and pass!" I've learned that, no matter what, your circle of influence will always be shifting and changing like a river flowing down into the sea. There is no time like the present when it comes to showing people love, for you never know when your paths may separate. My challenge, to both myself and to you, my readers, is to not make this summer only about you. Find a way to connect with those around you, be present and in-the-moment. You never know what you have till it's gone, so celebrate every beautiful moment and know that the unpleasant moments too, shall pass.