An End Of Summer Reflection
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An End Of Summer Reflection

I've stopped drinking Diet Coke. *Cue the shocked faces.*

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An End Of Summer Reflection
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As with most summers, this one has gone by way too quickly. I can still vividly recall the saddened goodbyes and ever so slightly, tear stained tee- shirts of my friends as I was whisked away from college. In the blink of an eye, I was thrown back into my “high school days” of driving around local roads and eating at more than familiar diners. To me, the transition back home was almost, if not more, shell-shocking than it was heading off the college. I longed for the days where I could be back at school, just wishing that the summer could be just the tiniest bit shorter.

Well, my long awaited wish came true. Here I am, almost mid-August, feverishly preparing me, and my newly obtained car, for the three-hour trek up to Hartford, CT. And, unfortunately, but not completely unexpected, I am not as excited as I was at the beginning of the summer to be heading back. Now that I look back upon it, I realize that I actually learned a lot, grew a ton as an individual, and even gained some new skills. This past summer certainly did not go to waste, and I am ever so grateful for the time that I had with my weird, slightly crazy, slice of Long Island.

Without further adieu, here are a few of the things I’ve accomplished this summer.

1. I Learned how to drive a car (and passed)!

Yeah, this one took me about three years to accomplish. But! Better late than never, I always say. I must give major props to my lovely father for embarking on this two-month journey with me; I know it certainly was not an easy one. I was always slightly terrified of driving, but I finally bit the bullet and realized that I had to get over my long-withstanding fear. So, within two months I went from being scared of going over 30 mph to driving on very fast-paced highways (I still do not know how I did it).

2. I got my first real job.

Yes, I realize it also probably took me way too long to accomplish this one, as well. However, since this part June, you have been talking to a fully certified, CVS trained, Hallmark Card Specialist (that sounds way too official). I actually have learned a great deal about the “real world,” including just how great it feels to wake up on a Friday morning with more than $15 in your bank account. All jokes aside, I totally loved both my co-workers and boss, making it a pretty cool place in which to work.

3. I went to the beach more times than I can remember.

Despite number two, I was actually able to go to the beach many more times this summer than I have in the past several years. With both my grandpa and uncle having a boat, on top of having a really cool beach sticker on my car (thanks #1), I was fortunate enough to visit my favorite place at least two times a week. To me, the beach is a refuge in which I am able to go off on my own, read a good book, and just live in the moment. No other place makes me feel as free and alive as the beach does. It truly is a magnificent place.

4. I've read a plethora of good books.

Fortunately, I was only also able to get in as much reading as I did because of number three (see how they’re all intertwined?), for my favorite pastime at the beach was reading. At the beginning of every summer, I go on a several hour outing to Barnes and Noble in order to purchase my trusty “summer reading list.” This list is typically comprised of numerous historical fictions, so many that I can now spit out, off the top of my head, the entire British and Scottish monarchy (and their lineage) since the 1500s (If you cannot tell, I’m a bit of a history nerd). Therefore, I only consider myself successful, by the end of the summer, if I have completed each and every novel purchased. Thankfully, I’m perfectly on schedule this year.


5. I've started to run most days of the week.

I’ve got to say, it certainly helps having a fitness and diet-driven boyfriend to give you that extra bit of motivation. That being said, I’ve always been a big fan of going on walks and runs to help clear my mind and de-stress from the day. I can simply put in my headphones, blast some rock and roll, and set off to wherever my heart may lead me. Running allows me to block out the outside world, even if it is only for an hour or two, and simply focus on my own mind and spirit. It is an extra bonus if I am fortunate enough to run along the shoreline.

6. I stopped drinking Diet Coke.

*Cue the shocked faces.* If anyone knows me, they know that “being a Diet Coke drinker” has been my identifier for many, many years. I am fairly certain that I was even drinking diet soda out of my baby bottle… the addiction was that bad. Well, again I have to hand to that diet-driven boyfriend of mine to give me the extra push needed to quit cold turkey. Instead, I have become an avid water drinker and must have my trusty, reusable water bottle with me at all times. The sad truth is, I do not even miss the soda.

7. I've finally gone fully vegetarian!

If Albert Einstein said it, then it must be the smart choice! Jokes aside, this is probably one of my biggest accomplishments, not only to myself, but to the potential lives I will now be saving. I have been mostly vegetarian (did not consume any meat/fish besides chicken) for about two years now. However, I have finally taken the plunge and removed chicken from my diet altogether. Now, this decision would not have been made possible if not for the numerous vegan YouTubers I watch on a regular basis. While these YouTubers promote a vegan lifestyle (have yet to accomplish that), they also help spread messages pertaining to positivity and gratitude towards both our loved ones and the Earth; two attributes I hold very dearly to my heart. In the future, I hope to educate others on this lifestyle and why being vegetarian, or vegan, is the smart choice for an environmentally sustainable future.

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