I can say with certainty that I had an enjoyable summer.
So much happened in a four-month span that it's hard to narrow down a few exciting moments. It's also important to recognize the not-so-fun things that happened, too. But overall, I had an enjoyable summer and it taught me a few things that I'll take with me to sophomore year.
1. Hiking 50 miles is worth it.
My Dad challenged me to hike fifty miles this summer with him. While I was only able to complete 39 of them (and made up for them later on in the summer), I felt accomplished being able to see amazing views that I could never imagine possible. As someone who does hike frequently, this was very rewarding to see beautiful views and challenge myself to do this hard hike.
2. Driving a car is scary at first.
Somehow, I still was unable to get a license this summer and also drove into some guy's lawn (with no damage to the car or house). But I learned that driving is scary, and petrifying yet rewarding that you have a chance at freedom on the road.
3. Learning how to properly use gym equipment is vital.
Last year, I struggled to find my footing at the gym. This summer, I decided to invest in a trainer and boy, did it make me feel better. While I didn't lose the ten pounds I wanted to, I did lose a few pounds and learned to make appropriate decisions with diet and exercise while home and at Marist this fall.
4. Singing at Carnegie Hall is as big of a deal as it seems.
I had an opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall this summer. And yes, it's big. Yes, it's intimidating singing an hour of intense music in about five different languages. Yes, it's frightening when you're up there. But it's so rewarding when you sing up there on the stage in front of hundreds of people with your peers and new friends.
5. You truly never know who you're going to meet.
This summer, I met some famous people while on my adventures. Whether it'd be running into Tariq Trotter from The Roots or meeting Jefferson Mays after seeing "Oslo," meeting celebrities and actors are rare. Getting an opportunity to meet both was exciting this summer, and the saying is true: you never know who you will meet.
6. "Late Show" hosts are as funny in person as they are on TV.
I had the opportunity to see Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon this summer. And after being fans of both of them for a long time, I saw them in person. And the jokes are definitely better in person. The atmosphere is exciting; plus, you'll be on national TV (which is both exciting and terrifying).
7. Coaching a gaming team is one thing, but coaching an international gaming team is another.
I had an opportunity to run a League of Legends gaming team this summer. But the players were all international. And this made things even more exciting. I worked with talented players from across Europe and learned so much about the game. Although we lost in the quarterfinals, I still enjoyed working with these players and hope to continue coaching others!
8. Seven different shows teach seven different lessons.
I saw seven different shows this summer and each show taught me a new thing about life. Whether it'd be how to make a deal, dealing with social anxiety, opening up your imagination or following your heart, I saw a lot of powerful shows this summer and each one I'd go see again in a heartbeat.
9. It's exciting to see the inner workings of Capitol Hill.
I also got to tour and see the inner workings of the Connecticut State Capitol, thanks to my representative. Although I have seen the Capitol before, I found it even more exciting to go as a guest of a congressional woman. Gives me a bit of a confidence boost for my own future jobs.
10. Last, at the end of the day...
...it's always a good and joyful thing to watch a sunset to end a busy and exciting day.