For almost any student, summer is seen as a welcome change from the routine of the school year. But, summer can mean very different things when you're in high school or college. Here are some of the biggest differences I've noticed between summer in college versus summer in high school.
1. Summer jobs
In high school, I would say a solid half of my class had a job during the summer. Usually, it was detassling corn, babysitting, McDonald's, or the local water park. But, as we all got ready to go home from college, I think almost everyone I talked to had some sort of job lined up for when they got home. Summer jobs in college are often what helps pay for your tuition or books. It's not usually about getting some spending money. Because of this, making plans with people in college during the summer is difficult because you'll usually get answers that sound something like, "I can't, I'm working that day." *
When I was in high school, summer meant freedom from doing schoolwork...mostly. Every single summer had at least one assignment that I'd have to do for my classes. While it wasn't usually too much work, it felt like so much because I would just procrastinate on it and dread actually doing it. In college, there isn't really summer homework, there's just summer classes that you get super excited to sign up for, but then find yourself dreading because it's summer and you're in class.
3. Sports and activities
Though every program is different, most of the fall sports (and even some of the sports from the winter or spring) at my high school would have some sort of training during the summer. I'd be driving around fairly early in the morning and see the cross country kids running. There were camps for almost anything, such as art, theater, music, sports, etc. But, once you're in college, you can't really be a part of those things anymore. Camps are replaced by work, classes, and a sense of moving towards real adult life.
In high school, summer wasn't always a huge deal because most of your friends would be close to you anyway. Your best friend lived maybe ten minutes away, so it didn't matter that you wouldn't have classes together anymore. But, as the end of the college school year approaches, you find yourself freaking out because most of your best friends from school live at least a few hours away. You look at your friends and go, "Who is going to be there to run with me to get food at 2 A.M.?"
College is weird. For the last nine months, you have had two places you call "home." Now that you're at your first home, you have all of these stories from your other home and it feels like you have this double life going on. No matter if you're at school or at home, you have to give back stories on the people in your memories because people from one life don't really know about the people in the other. It all feels vaguely Hannah Montana-ish. This "double life" was never really an issue in high school unless you were in activities in different towns.
Summers are great, but what they entail change as you start to make your way to adulthood. Some things are better as you get older, and some things kinda suck. But, we all have to grow up at some point.
* This is all just based on what I've noticed, this does not mean that high school students don't work just as hard or as long as college students.