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Summer 2020 was a letdown, to say the least. As lockdown was first introduced in 30-day increments, some had hope that restrictions would be lifted by the summer. Now we have hit the one-year mark of lockdown, and things are finally looking up. Three different vaccines have been approved, and it was recently announced that all New York residents aged 16 and over can be vaccinated beginning April 6. After a lost summer, things may finally start to safely reopen. But the sociological response may be different than anticipated.

College students have two basic choices as to how to spend their summer: working or relaxing. As college students, many of us feel pressure to hustle year-round. Sophomores and juniors especially search for career-building summer internships to gain experience in their field before graduation. But if lockdown has taught us anything, it’s how precious time is. There are only three summers in between college years. After that, most of us will enter the working world and be given two-week vacations out of the entire year. The summers as we know them are coming to an end.

We forget that we are young, and force our own adultification. While it is important to prepare for the working world, these upcoming months are also a unique chance to enjoy our freedom. For some, work is truly the answer, but many of us discount the alternative in favor of what is expected. Having already lost one summer, the only way to decide is to reflect on what we missed most out on in summer 2020. Was it vacationing? Hanging out with friends? Making career advancements? Summer 2020 provided us with the opportunity to reprioritize, and it’s time to apply these lessons to our lives.

Chloe Barth

Manhattan '24

Freshman political science major
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