The end of August. The summer nights seem to be cooling off from July’s stifling heat, and each morning as I make my daily commute to work I notice more and more kids running to the school bus, book bags and lunch boxes in tow.
I used to dread this time of the year because I knew that soon again my mornings would be just like theirs. I would set my alarm for what seemed like the crack of dawn, and with each ring of its radar tone, I was forced to kiss my sweet, summer freedom goodbye.
But not this year. After working full time for my first “adult” summer, I can honestly and confidently say that I cannot wait to start classes again. I no longer have my usual feelings of total dread that come with the monotony of textbooks, assigned readings and late nights in the library; they have, instead, been replaced by feelings of excitement and relief.
OK so that might seem a little extreme and some of you are probably wondering what the heck kind of job did I work this summer, so let me clarify by saying that these past few months have been ones of substantial growth and experience for me. I moved into my first apartment, I worked an average 40 hour work week, I started watching "Orange is the New Black" and I even got to ride a Ferris wheel with my boyfriend. While not all of the things on this list are activities reserved for typical adults, I did take on a lot of new responsibilities while still finding small ways to enjoy my summer.
Through this experience I have learned that I am capable of being independent and taking care of myself. And, yes, after depositing my paychecks into my bank account every two weeks and seeing that I was actually making money, it was pretty tempting not to go blow it all on shoes and cookies. But I persevered and stuck to my budget, and although it slightly stung seeing such a large portion of those paychecks go toward my rent each month, I can’t deny the sense of pride I felt in providing for myself.
Even though I am proud of myself for working so hard, I have realized that I’m not quite ready to do only that for the rest of my life. So, as these summer nights begin to dwindle down, I can honestly say for the first time in a long time that I'm excited to start classes again. I might not be running to the school bus every morning, but I'll be sure to have a smile on the first day of classes, relieved to be a "kid" again.