The Summer After

I suppose I should begin imparting my “wisdom” about college and education, since that’s what got this weblog started in the first place. I wish that I would have been forewarned about some of these things, but I suppose part of life is figuring these things out on your own. After all everyone’s experiences are different. To begin, I will write about where I am now.

So here I am, the summer after. The summer after going to Clark University for two semesters as a freshman. It’s a summer I wasn’t expecting. A summer that seems to test me at every turn. I’ve always thought that I was one to embrace change, but honestly change is hard. And not all change is easy to swallow. The hardest thing about coming back is that you are not the same person and neither are the people around you. Those who were your friends, probably are still your friends, but your relationship with them will never be quite the same. This summer I was excited to come back home to make some new memories with my best friend from high school, but about a week-and-half before I got home she moved to another state. I thought I could catch up with friends from high school. I’ve done that some, but then I got caught up in what some people call the “real world.” I call it working full-time which takes way more than the 40 hours a week I’m scheduled for. Last summer I also worked full-time, but always had plans every night. Leaving home to go to college seems to have taken that from me. I no longer have plans every night. In fact, I often wonder what I will do. One of those things has turned out to be writing.

I certainly have hit a transitional period in my life, along with all the other young people I graduated with. Transitional periods always seem to be difficult for me. This one is particularly so, because I have decided to not go back to college in the fall. I have decided to take a different path. Yet this path has so many more options and decision to be made than the going-back-to-college path. It can all be overwhelming. It is especially difficult because none of my friends are going through quite the same thing. I think that has been the hardest part of this summer. All of my friends are at different points in their lives. I don’t feel that we quite relate in the same ways.

I have always been comfortable speaking to and relating to adults. (I suppose I am technically an adult now, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it). Many are interested in what I am doing, which I appreciate to a degree, but sometimes it feels like a part-time job relaying what I am doing and why. Honestly, I don’t know what I am doing. I am trying to figure it all out. I suppose many adults just want to see young people succeed. Many have expressed support and encouragement for what I am doing. They have said “I wish I would have done that when I was your age” or “do it now while you’re still young.” I’m not sure what I want people to reply when I answer their questions about what I am doing, but I have heard the same response dozens of times. For now I will just take this as insight into adult lives. It seems that many adults who ask about what I am doing are reflecting on what they did when they were my age. Some see it as a chance impart some advice to me, others see it as a chance to live vicariously through my experiences, while others are just curious. I’m certain I’m not the only teenager who has been asked what are you doing this summer/for school/this year? Still it seems I’m asked this question more often than others, or perhaps my answer is more extensive than others. I’m going with the latter.

So this is just the beginning of how graduating and going to college has changed my life. I hope that some may be able to use my experience to realize that once you go to college things are never the same. Expect change–that’s as prepared as you can be. One of the beauties of life is that everyone’s is different and unique. Everyone who has returned from college has had a different experience. This one just happens to be mine.

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