Thursday, January 7, 2016

Guest Post: Summer Nothin'

A guest post by: Sophie Bailowitz

“You mean you’re not doing…anything? ...all summer?” This news has left a lot of people incredulous, so I’ll spell it out clearly: No, I’m not doing anything. All summer.

Except that I am. True, I’m not getting paid to stock shelves or scoop ice cream or sit in a lifeguard chair supervising pool-goers. I’m not traveling to exotic tropical beaches or exploring quaint European cities, and I’m not leading herds of giggling campers from arts and crafts to soccer.

I don’t mean to imply that there’s anything wrong with a summer of tourism, lifeguarding or working as a counselor. All of these options are perfectly valid ways to spend 3 months.

There’s no doubt that I’d enjoy afternoons lounging by the waves on a picturesque island or the extra cash that my working friends will have tucked into their wallets at the start of school. It’s just that, if there’s anytime for me to take a stretch of 12 weeks and declare it a leisurely, honest-to-good break spent at home, it’s now. As long as I can remember, summer has been about the little things— flip flop tans, chocolate snowballs topped with marshmallow at Tropicool, watching the Orioles play in the blazing heat. It’s been a time for spontaneous amusement park trips with friends and unhurried backyard barbeques with family, a time when my biggest concern is finding the best sunscreen for my skin—skin that’s guaranteed to burn no matter how many times I reapply anyway.

But, before I know it, this happy-go-lucky mentality will be punctured with pressures like finding that perfect internship or research project to be the cherry on top of a meticulous resume. That’s great too, in its own way; I’m looking forward to finding the internship that inspires me or the quintessential college student summer job as much as the next person. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to take advantage of the last time that I can unapologetically sleep until 11:30 or spend the whole day binge watching Criminal Minds, no questions asked.

What’s more (and more important to me), is that these are the last 12 weeks I’ll definitively be able to call the 410 area code home. Sure, Pikesville will always be home on some level. It holds too many memories and pieces of me for me not to identity with it in that way. But the future is murky—it’s unclear whether I’ll ever return to the state of Maryland for more than just a visit after college ends, let alone the very suburb where I learned to walk, and drive, and everything in between. There are countless things to do before my address changes to somewhere in Madison, Wisconsin—friends to reminisce with, favorite restaurants to visit, baseball games to watch, snowballs to eat. 12 weeks with no specific plans may seem like a long time, but the truth is, it’s not nearly enough.

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