Summer, summer, summer, summer...We all remember the chant from High School Musical that perfectly explained our love for the season. We knew it only as an endless amount of relaxation, pizza, and pool time. Wherever the sun took us we would go, walking aimlessly in the heat in search of something to cure our boredom when in reality, we were already doing the trick. Summer was an era of freedom; we stayed out late, woke when we pleased, and gathered in packs to enjoy the days we felt would never end. The only worries in our worlds were of skinned knees and the return of school, neither of which we could control but had to deal with regardless. In the blink of an eye, summer has transformed from a state of pure bliss to an extension of our monotonous reality. Our lives remain the same, but the weather changes. We can no longer use summer as an excuse to do nothing; we are bound by our responsibilities of adult (ish) life and remain in the bubble that we create for ourselves through routine. Though it will never be what it was, summer persists as a glimmer of hope for the child in all of us.
When I was a kid, my summers consisted of swim practice, Keenan and Kel, and loitering the local town center with an obnoxious number of friends. My parents never worried about where I was or what I was doing and my cell phone wasn't attached to me at every waking moment: I was free to really live my life and soak in all of the summer I had. My skin stayed a dark shade of tan and though every day was similar, they all seemed so vividly different. Perhaps life was more vibrant back then, or maybe I actually knew how to enjoy it rather than struggling to bring my mind to the present moment every five minutes. I was never focused on anything but that moment, living it to the fullest extent rather than worrying about who texted me back or how much work I had to do. I can't decide if this is what growing up is, but I'd personally like my childhood summers back.
Time is a thief and tends to only allow you to remember the good; it always seems as if the past was better than what we have now. I'd do anything to trade my eight hour shifts five days a week for eight hours at the pool every day. I'd love to bask in the glory of having absolutely nothing on my plate and maintaining good grades and a social life simultaneously. I know that change is good but sometimes it feels as if the best days of my life are passing me by, and it scares me. So how do we make the best of what we have while it's still ours? We could take a picture of it to look at later, but then we'd miss the moment entirely. In reality, summer is the same as it's always been; we're the ones that have changed. We can let this weaken us, or we can embrace our situation and make it amazing before it leaves us. Sure, I'd rather not be stuck inside all day to make money I'll hardly even see, but that's the way it is. Summer will always be there and so will my inner child. Regardless of how much free time I have, the idea of summer will remain consistent and glorious because it's so much more than just a season. It's the sound of children laughing, of happiness in the air, of freedom and youth and never growing up.