The end of spring semester while in college brings about a lot of different feelings for different people. For some, the end of spring semester means that it is time for summer break. For these individuals, this is a time to sleep in late, go on vacation, and spend time with friends. The "break" in "summer break," in other words, means a time to kick back and let all the stress from spring semester wash away. However, the end of spring semester doesn't always mean a break. For others, it is just the start of another season of classes. Summer classes, in-person and online, are always an option for those looking to do something productive during the summer break.
However, that word means a lot of different things: productive. After all, productivity is found in many different sizes and forms. We see it in our schooling, our personal projects, and in spending time with others. Productivity is a subjective term and it is often associated with an individual who has a particular goal in mind. Well, like it or not, summer break/time is the time of year best associated with productivity on a personal level due to its ample amount of time one can be away from college or college campus.
After all, when you are in school, opportunity and areas to grow exist, but often exist within the constraints of classes and other obligations. Therefore, summer is the time for opportunity. We get several glorious months off of school and have time to grow as individuals and people. On the main scene, we see people who highlight the necessity of travel. There are those who go off across the country or even across the world and participate in activities or events that seem grand and earth-shattering to their lives or careers. These people seem to be living the biggest and grandest versions of their lives and honestly, we should be happy for them.
Deep down, we are proud of our friends who go off and have great trips that seem to tie directly with their career or go out to experience brand new things. However, despite this happiness and joy, we often look back and, as humans are prone to do, compare their experiences to our own. While others are out their traveling the country, there are those of us who are staying at home. Some of us have beautiful internships with major companies and others have plans that are still in the works. Summertime is the time for opportunity, but often, though we remain happy and positive for those who are doing well, we feel left out or even less successful than some of our friends.
However, I'm here to say that this kind of mentality is inherently wrong and toxic. From its very foundation, there is nothing but an error in this kind of thinking. You are already making a mistake by comparing yourself to someone else. Sure, you are not on a trip across the country, but that doesn't mean that your time and summer isn't as productive or as good as anyone else's. Opportunity is a subjective term and what is good and productive for one person may not completely match the person standing right next door.
If you are feeling down or feeling like your summer break isn't as grand or helpful to your future as other people you know, find something in your life that enhances the experience. Go get you that job that will make you a little more spending money. Go enjoy adventures with friends that will last a lifetime. Go work on that project you have always dreamed of completing. Go polish that resume, hike that mountain trail, try that new restaurant. Opportunity and productivity walk hand in hand and both are subjective in nature.
Time is a great resource and is only truly wasted if you sit back and watch it flow past you. Time is precious and even if you are not going on a huge trip, it will not be wasted this summer.