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Going Back To College At The End Of Summer Vacation

My first summer home from college just ended. Now, nestled back in my college dorm room, I am surprised at my range of emotions over the last three months.

Going Back To College At The End Of Summer Vacation

For starters, how unready I was to leave school and start summer surprised me. In high school, I constantly had a mental countdown running to the nearest break. And once that break finally arrived, I always felt as though I would have collapsed if I had had to wait just one more day. I was overworked and overtired and stressed about school and college.

And while I definitely counted down the days to the end of final exams last spring, I was not so desperate for summer to start. In fact, I was sad for school to end. I would have to say goodbye to my new friends. I’d have to leave a place where something fun was always going on and cool people were always on hand.

Once I got home, though, I was so excited to be reunited with my family and friends. I quickly fell back into my home life routine. I started driving myself everywhere instead of walking and going to all of my favorite hometown restaurants with friends. Sometimes, my family annoyed me. I’d wish I were living with my four college flatmates instead of my four immediate relatives. Still, I loved the warm weather (I go to college on the Scottish coast) and being back with everyone who I missed so much during the year.

Ready to Go Back

I spent my summer as a nanny. And while it was a great, well-paying summer gig with a lovely family, I definitely worried about my future summer plans. Some of my friends had impressive internships or exciting travel plans. I spent a lot of time griping with my fellow local friends about how hard it is to find a paid and enjoyable summer job that also qualifies as professional experience. This may be an impossible goal, but I feel like it is what I need to be doing during my college summers if I want to get a job after I graduate. With one year of college under my belt, the pressure to succeed both in school and out has only increased. I’m no longer stressed about college plans like I was in high school. Now real life worries me.

For the first time, though, when summer did end, I wasn’t desolate. I had spent the second half of the summer counting down to when school started again—a wholly foreign, but pleasant, feeling. Unlike last summer, when I was full of anxiety and expectations about my impending college start, this summer was much more relaxing. And I knew what a great place was waiting for me at the other end.

Emma Freer attended Ruffing Montessori and Laurel School in Cleveland, Ohio. Emma gave the senior speech at her high school graduation.

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