Last year, I wrote an article all about the typical college student’s experience during the month of April. Finals are coming, you’re typically packing up your dorm, and if you’re lucky, you’ve secured a summer job or internship for the summer.
Well now, last year feels like yesterday, and this time I’m about to go into my last summer vacation before I graduate. In just a few short months, I’ll be entering the world of people who yell at the idiots who make rush-hour traffic even worse and finding out how to pay for my contact lenses like a real adult. Sounds delightful, eh?
I’m very lucky because I don’t have to pack up and move home this time, and I’m even luckier because I’ve secured an internship that I’m really excited about. I don’t have to worry about classes this time or if I’ll be home before it’s late enough for me to get in trouble. However, I’m going to miss certain parts of my old college summer experience. Let me tell you how summers have typically gone since I graduated high school, and why I can’t slow down:
My first semester of college was actually in the summer. I moved into one of the nicest dorms on campus, met my first roommate, and got to get a sense of the look and feel of my campus just a little bit early. I only took two classes, I didn’t have a job, and I had more time on my hands then I knew what to do with.
Then my freshman year officially started in the fall, and within a blink of an eye, it was over, and summer - round two started. I didn’t have a car, so my mom picked me up like a kindergartener who couldn’t wait to go home and snuggle in her own bed. That was me. I was ready to move out of my tiny dorm and have a little space to myself for a little while. I came home and went back to my high school job as a hostess at a beach cafe. It felt so amazing to come home and feel like nothing had changed. My job was the same, I was in my own environment back home, and I didn’t have a care in the world. The familiar was comforting.
But I knew I was going to have to go back to school (because being a hostess wasn’t my personal destiny), and I had to learn how to make something of myself. I started my sophomore year, became engulfed in my sorority, and officially got into the Mass Communications program at my school. I even got to move into my first “apartment." It was on campus, so it was barely an excuse for one, but hey, I had a door that I could close and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to claim that sad excuse for a room as my own.
Everything seemed to be going right.
The second year passed, and it was time to move out again. This time, I was super excited to be starting at an internship that was actually relevant to my career choice. I moved to Miami and lived what I hoped was going to be the life of “future me” not too long from then. I dressed up, went to a cool office every day, worked with amazing people, and learned more than I could ever hope to. My first internship was probably better than anyone else’s I had talked to, and it set the bar extremely high for everything else I did thereafter. That summer was my first taste of the “real world.”
I was living a fast-paced, career-focused life that I loved, and I haven’t slowed down since.
I went back to school, skipping a full year with previously earned credits, and jumped into my senior year, where I am right now. I decided not to take on a new internship in the fall, and my summer internship sponsors were gracious enough to let me work remotely to continue gaining industry-relevant experience. I focused on major-specific only courses, worked two jobs, and kept my mind in the same fast-paced and goal-oriented mindset it had been trained to perform in all summer.
Fall turned to spring and I took on yet another internship, learning more and more each week, all while working two other jobs. I still went to class, I served an executive position in my sorority, and kept the momentum not only steady, but growing. And now, it’s almost done. Spring is about to turn to summer, and I’m looking back at everything my college years have given me because in a few short months, I’ll be on to the next.
So now I start planning for the lasts summer I’ll ever get to claim as a college student. I’ll work, i’ll play, and I’ll learn. But one thing is absolute, I won’t be slowing down, because i wouldn’t be where I am today if I had said I would at any earlier point. I won’t slow down, because life doesn’t have a pause button and only those who continue learning their entire lives truly understand how the world around us is changing. They evolve with the times and are less likely to become irrelevant and unemployable by age 50.
I won’t slow down, and neither should you.