The Summer of Me

Summer is always thought to be the time where you can relax and have fun while pretending school and work don’t exist until, you know, it does. As a college student, this feels different since I’m expected to have an internship or a job. Most college students work in their hometowns or find internships to fill their time, maybe have a few days to really have fun or go to the beach, but I was able to have a job and have fun.

I had a job at my college working with the incoming orientation students. That took up the majority of my mornings between five a.m. and noon, Mondays through Thursdays, with the occasional evening desk shift. Early mornings and long days were no joke! After the customary hour nap, I would have all day to do whatever. I decided to take advantage of that freedom, and I fondly dubbed this summer "The Summer of Me."

I had originally planned to go to the gym and explore my quaint college town, while fully allowing myself to be me. While I didn’t do two of those three things, I was able to become a more well-rounded person just by becoming friends with a few special women.

I worked with 11 other people this summer, but only five of them really wanted to make friends. We had Cookout, Dunkin’ Donuts and Chick-fil-A runs almost daily (though not at the same time) and went grocery shopping together every Sunday. They were the ones that wanted to have movie and game nights and were down for whatever adventure I wanted to go on, and we would hang out together regardless of who had to sit the desk at night. They encouraged me to pursue things I wanted and I did the same for them. I experimented with new clothing styles, went kayaking and paddle boarding, had a photoshoot in a sunflower field, took a friend to get a naval piercing (and then took her back to the piercer's when it got infected), got two flat tires and went to a club in the same night, as well as many, many more things.

We always straddled the line between serious and fun conversations, crossing over when needed. Through these conversations I was able to connect with my friends and explore parts of my personality without fearing judgment from my peers. It is truly a blessing to have like-minded people to support journeys of self-discovery. I definitely feel more well-rounded as an individual, as well as a little more grounded. While I planned for a physically changing summer, I had one that changed me from the inside.

For anyone that wants to branch out and explore themselves more, my advice to you is to do it when you can and do it with people you trust. It is literally a life-changing moment when you take the reins and do what you want before returning to the mundane.