Why Summer Is A Blessing And A Curse For College Students

Why Summer Is A Blessing And A Curse For College Students

The reality of summer vacation.
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By the beginning of finals week, college students are counting down the minutes until summer break. The tough and draining semester coming to an end calls for celebration and what better way to celebrate than to have a three-month long vacation away from responsibility and exams. However, summer break may not be all that great for college students. Sure, there are many aspects of a long and needed vacation that many students look forward to, but there are also some negatives as well.

One of the first things students think of when they think of summer is freedom from school and all responsibility. But this is not always the case. For many college students, three free months does not always mean late nights and partying, it means spending your days slaving away at work in order to pay for your education. Although some people like to make money, the money that is saved those three months doesn't always stick around, especially for college students. The needed textbooks, school supplies and residence hall contracts slowly drain your bank account and by the time you have to pay tuition there is hardly anything left. All of your hard work, gone in moments.

The one thing many college students look forward to when they get home from school is seeing their family again. A whole school year on your own can be tough and finally having a parent cook you a meal is any college student's dream. All though the meals are a plus, staying with your family after a long time away can be incredibly frustrating as well. Many college students are used to being independent, but now you are under your parent’s roof once more and you once again have to abide by their rules. No more late night McDonald's runs or staying up past three in the morning to do homework or have friends over last minute. Now, you have to ask permission to have people over and follow curfew rules. You slowly get back into the routine of being home, only to have it whisked away when you have to leave again when you leave.

The last thing college students look forward to is spending time with high school friends and family members you haven't seen in awhile. Your days are filled with being paraded around town visiting every relative you can before you have to go back. When you aren't being paraded around, you fill your hours catching up with friends you haven't seen in months. Between work, family, and friends there is rarely time to relax by yourself. Having busy days may be fun for awhile, but it gets old fast. Summer is supposed to be about relaxation and re-energizing yourself for the tough year to come back at school. But for some college students, the hours to relax are minimal, and the hours to relax by yourself are nearly nonexistent.

Summer can give college students the time they need to recover from a long year. But, a summer filled with long hours at work, frustration at home and days spent with family and friends can be incredibly exhausting as well. By the time summer comes to an end, students are ready to make their way back to school and begin dreaming about summer all over again

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Weber

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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Doing Nothing All Summer Is Okay Too

It's okay to have no plans this summer.

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Summer seems to roll around faster and faster every year and the question that's always asked is"what are you doing this summer?" Some people love to answer this question, maybe they have a trip planned to backpack across Europe or have a 2-week vacation in the Bahamas. My point is, everyone seems to have these big summer plans. Some people spend the whole summer traveling and are never even home, but there are always gonna be some people who, like me, have absolutely no plans this summer.

Do I wish I was traveling across Europe or spending a few weeks in the Bahamas? Sure. But in reality, my summer plans include working 5 or 6 days a week. I'm not ashamed of this and I wouldn't say I'm jealous of those traveling because I'm still determined to make the best of my summer.

There is so much pressure everywhere on Instagram and Snapchat to post all the fun things you're doing and to capture the moment. This creates the pressure that you always have to be doing something fun or spontaneous.

Summer should be whatever you want it to be. If you want to spend every day at the beach, do it. If you want to spend every day in bed or at home, that's good too. We all have different definitions of fun.

Summer has just started and everyone should make the most of their summer in their own way. My friends and I always make a bucket list of all the things we want to do by the end of the summer. None of it involves traveling or much planning, it's just little things we can do when we get bored.

Don't feel jealous when you see other people traveling this summer. Make your own fun plans, make a bucket list, and make the most of every day this summer.

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