Every college student looks forward to summer, which is full of new adventures, less homework (unless you’re taking summer school) and more time at home with friends and family.
While the beginning of summer is full of sunshine and happiness, the end can drag on at times. Here are the seven phases of summer and all the feelings that come with it.
1. On Top of the World
Right after you finish your last final, you post on your Snapchat story saying, “It’s summer!” with more exclamation marks than necessary.
Even though you still have to pack up to go home, absolutely nothing can bring you down. The sun seems to shine a little more brightly, every song on your playlist has extra joy in it and you can’t seem to stop smiling. With no more homework, tests or stress, your life seems to be easy and happy.
2. Big Plans
You want to make your months at home worth it, so you schedule countless road trips, vacations and friend getaways. You spend hours on your laptop searching for the best Airbnb’s and flight deals; eventually, the travel sights start to become bookmarks on your Safari tab.
Although you don’t have the money for it all right now, there’s still plenty of time to save up, right? The world is just a journey waiting to be traveled, and you are determined to conquer that adventure with your best friends by your side.
3. Social Butterfly
After being away from your home friends for so long, now is the time to catch up with everyone. Every day is an opportunity to hang out with another friend, and your calendar is full of constant lunches and dinners. You spend late nights with your core group of people, going on midnight donut runs, beach trips and drive-in movie sessions.
On social media, you’re always posting something on your Instagram and Snapchat stories; you want people to see what you’re doing, whether you know it or not. Life couldn’t be better, and you’re loving the fact that you are constantly busy rather than constantly stressed with schoolwork.
4. Reality Check
Eventually, the novelty of summer wears off and you realize that your constant plans have drained your bank account. Those road trips turned out to be impossible to plan around everyone else’s schedules, and you find out that those “flight deals” aren’t that great of deals.
While every day was an opportunity to do something adventurous and spontaneous, having a job makes it hard to have a social life and it becomes less realistic to do those crazy activities. Reality sets in fast, and you start to settle into a daily routine that doesn’t include all of the dreams you had at the beginning of the season. You’re forced to live “real life,” finding ways to save up for college and maturing in your expectations for the season.
Summer starts to consist of sleeping, working, eating and doing nothing. A typical Sunday is on the couch watching hours of movies you’ve seen a dozen times, while a Friday night is now Netflix-bingeing instead of adventurous plans. While you’re scrolling on Instagram and seeing your friends traveling the world, you look around your room and wonder if your life can be as exciting as you wanted it to be.
The summer days seem to almost drag, and at times you actually wish you were back at school with more excitement. You hate to admit that you’re “bored,” because then that means that you’re not having a good summer. But maybe being “bored” isn’t a bad thing, since you finally have the time to relax before entering college’s world of craziness and chaos again.
6. Final Countdown
College is nearby, and you find yourself counting the days until you can go back to your second home. Just like the tradition of counting down to Christmas, you have the date of your return to college circled on your calendar. You’ve gotten tired of not having somewhere to go every day, even longing for a class schedule so that you have some structure in your day-to-day life.
The time has come to where you want to “break up” with summer, in a sense. Summer has done so much for you, such as giving you time to spend time with others, sleep and relax. However, the time has come to where you need to go on your separate paths, as you want something different now. Instead of wanting hot, long days full of Netflix and good food, you want to get back to your other life in college. Perhaps you and summer will meet again one day.
7. All Tears and Smiles to Leave
Before you know it, your parents are helping you pack all of your suitcases and bags into the car again. Although you feel ready to head back to college, the tears still come when saying goodbye to your parents and moving all of your clothes into your new closet. Yet, even with the tears from leaving your home all over again, you can’t help but smile when remembering that you’re back with your college friends and are able to pursue your passions again.
Summer is understandably a lot of people’s favorite season, since it’s the time when people feel ready to take on the world and finally live the exciting life that they’ve wanted. Sometimes, the best memories are made during summer—you can probably recall a late summer night on which you repeatedly said, “This is crazy” and still have no regrets after.
However, some of the best memories are made in college with your best friends on campus. Whether it’s going to a frat party with your friend group, driving to In N’ Out at 2 a.m. to get that cheeseburger or even getting an A on a paper you worked extremely hard on, college can bring the same joy that summer does.