Summer break: the most anticipated time of the year. It's that time when we all get a three month break in between the craziness that is the quarter system. No finals, no stress, no worries...or at least that's what we all imagine in our minds. A fun filled summer full of sun, friends, and infinite hours of sleep. But what really happens when you go from college life to moving back to your hometown?
Stage 1: Relief
Finals are finally over and you never have to step foot into that Chemistry class ever again. You can forget about entering a lecture hall for the next three months and there are absolutely zero papers for you to frantically crank out before your next class. You finally get to leave your roommate and all of their annoying habits behind (seriously, who turns on all the lights at 2 am?) and your dining common days are behind you. Finally, you get to go back to your own room and a bed that was made for someone bigger than the size of a toddler.
Stage 2: Excitement
After that six hour drive or three hour plane ride you're finally home. You get to see all of your high school friends that you promised you would visit (and didn't) and you have not a care in the world. Your car, your beautiful, beautiful car, is parked in the driveway ready for you to take on the next three months with any summer adventure that you can think of. And to top it all off, your mom is doing all your laundry and cooking your favorite meals. It almost makes you wonder why you ever even left home.
Stage 3: Realization
So you start to hang out with your high school friends and you begin to notice that everyone has changed...a lot. One crucial part of college is growing into the person that you will soon become, but what you often don't realize is that your high school friends are doing the same thing, just without you. When you all come back together the spark just isn't there and you realize you've all grown apart-your at home friend group now consisting of a solid three people. The newness of you being home is wearing off, and your mom is now making you do chores and won't stop bugging you to get a summer job. The car you thought you would have fun adventures in has actually turned you into a personal chauffeur for your family and the curfew you had before you left is still in tact and stronger than ever. Maybe this isn't going to be the summer you thought?
Stage 4: Boredom
Your summer job sucks. Your friends have dwindled and you spend most of your free time binge watching Netflix and trying to stay out of the heat. The few friends you did have are probably getting ready to leave because they go back a whole month before you and your fun stems from spending massive amounts of money at Target. The boredom has set in and you really miss constantly having a friend to hang out with 24/7.
Stage 5: Sadness
You miss your friends, you miss your campus, you even miss the dining commons brunch. Every text you send to your college friends makes you yearn to see their face and you would give anything just to walk into the dorms and see your friends waiting for you in the lounge. You can't bare to look at your college gear because it just makes you think of campus and heck, you even miss classes and the sweet silence of the library. You're sad and you're ready to go back.
Stage 6: Anticipation
With only a few weeks left of summer, the anticipation is killing you. You can't wait to get back to your friends, classes, and even your tiny little dorm room. You've probably started counting down the days and all of your stuff is packed up and ready to go. You've made a playlist for the drive back to school and you and your friends have been pumping each other up with all the exciting plans for the new school year. This will be the best year yet. Only 18 days to go...
Stage 7: Acceptance
With summer winding down, you're finally coming to accept what once was. Although it wasn't the magical summer you had in mind, you still got to catch up with some friends, spend time with family, and earn some extra cash. Now it's time to get back on the grind and see what this year has to offer.