So, summer 2021..what did we think? It seemed, as per usual, that summer just flew by. While some of you might’ve soaked up the summer sun or relaxed in your homes enjoying your time off from school, I did not. Quite honestly, for my first summer as a university student, it was really pathetic.
I can probably count with one hand the number of times I genuinely enjoyed myself this past summer. Sad, isn’t it?
WHY MY SUMMER SUCKED
There were three reasons why my summer sucked, to say the least: 1) I was taking a spring course to get ahead; 2) I was working non-stop at my part-time job at Winners; 3) I spent a lot of time networking with veterans in my desired field of study.
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Tiring? Absolutely!
Coming into my first summer as a university student, I was practically giddy with excitement about all the opportunities I had to advance in my career, professionally and financially. Even in the summertime, I had this constant desire to be productive and make the most out of my time off. In short: I’m a workaholic. So for me, that meant taking a spring course while taking advantage of a one-week free trial of MasterClass, which allowed me to network with television executives, followed by working my butt off at a part-time job to save up for tuition and other future endeavours.
While I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished this past summer, I’m also emotionally and mentally exhausted. It’s not an ideal state to be in, especially leading up to the fall semester.
Yes, making money was––and still is––important, but truth be told, it’s not what a student should dedicate their entire summer doing. In hindsight, I should’ve enjoyed my summer a bit more. No, scratch that – a lot more. I should’ve taken the long commute downtown and soaked up the sights and tastes of the city, rather than groggily getting up to work five days a week with shifts as long as nine hours. I should’ve driven to Northern Ontario and went hiking up the numerous trails to see the breathtaking views instead of sitting behind my desk, staring at my laptop all day to “get ahead”. I also should’ve said “no” to my managers when they asked me to extend my shifts, which was also a big mistake on my part.
Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve—four months too late.
So, what’s the main takeaway here? Well, it really all boils down to one thing: enjoy your four-month-off university summers to the fullest. I know I will next time around. Internships, part-time jobs and having a busy summer are all amazing, but make sure you consciously take some time out of your week to unwind. Whether that be seeing a movie with your friends, meandering through downtown to window-shop or traveling to Niagara Falls for a day trip, summers are meant for relaxation and refuelling for the upcoming school year (or in some cases, adulthood).
It is my sincere hope that many of you will reflect on your past summer. Did you take some well-deserved “me time” and enjoy your summer break? Or were you like me – hustling to save up for your unknown future, unable to say no to any opportunity that arose. In any case, spend your time wisely, especially your precious summers. Don’t let the ghost of summer’s past ruin four hard years of education.