Art of Growing Up - Summer

Lauren -

Summer: what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Freedom? 3 months of no responsibility?  Spending your days in the Sun or a pool? If you asked me six years ago, my answer would have been “all of the above”. As I’ve gotten older — surprise! — my views have changed.

When I was a kid, I spent the school year cooped up in a classroom for 8+ hours a day. By the time Summer rolled around, I was itching to do something,
anything else.  Because I was so young, I didn’t have much to do besides school, so when school was no longer in session, I was free.

When I was in 7th grade, I joined the RVA, and that alone gave me a newfound sense of freedom. I was able to take a days off whenever I wanted without serious repercussions, and more importantly (at least to me), I was able do work at the pace I wanted. I could do all my homework in the morning and have the evening off. I could do something with my family in the morning, and catch up on homework in the evening. By the time May rolled around, I was able to finish my schoolwork weeks early. I was no longer tied to the restrictions that brick and mortar sets. Overall, it was (and continues to be) an incredibly positive thing. Something interesting I’ve noticed, though, is that this year-long independence somewhat spoils the intermittent freedom that was Summer.

For the last two Summers, all I’ve focused on is work. While homeschooling allows for more flexibility during the year, when it comes down to it, it’s still school, and it’s still your first priority. However, ever since I’ve had a job, I’ve enjoyed making money. So, the light at the end of the tunnel for me has been when I can make more money. That probably sounds shallow, but college ain’t cheap, kids.

So, the real question is, which do I prefer — Summer as a child, or Summer as a kid? The answer: neither. Why? Because each ‘type’ made sense for each part of my life.

When you’re an adult, you don’t get the summer off because you can’t stop working for 3 months straight. As a teenager, though, you have a choice. You can work as much as possible, you can choose not to work at all. Or, if you want, you can find a balance between the two. And that choice, my friends, is the art of growing up.

Kayelona -

Like all good things, this column must come to an end for the year. That also means that this school year is coming to end. Hooray! Summer is right around the corner. So, in honor of the school year coming to a close, summer is the topic of our 2018, 2019 finale.

Being a teen during the summer is a sweet gig. First of all, we actually get the summer off. Yes, we still have work and responsibilities, but we get three months off before going back to learn. College students get breaks, but they still have to work to support themselves while high school-ers only have to earn enough money to have fun.

School takes up the majority of our time and without it, we are free to do more. Many of us, however, have jobs that require our attention. Just because school is out doesn’t mean that your job ceases. Although working hard to earn our credits is over for three months, we still get to work hard at earning money.

On the flip side, without school, there’s more time to allocate to a job. I’ve heard many of my senior friends talk about getting a full-time job this summer to support themselves financially this upcoming year. It might not seem fun to work during the summer, but it’s the perfect time to make bank.

For those who don’t have a job or only a part-time job during the summer, you have more time to allocate to free time. You can have lazy days, late nights, hours of swimming, and vacations. Without the commitment of school, you have more time to do the things you enjoy.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I always feel like the summer is busier than the school year. My guess is that during the school year I have a routine and during the summer I don’t, but nonetheless, there’s always something to do. It seems like I won’t be able to sit down and breathe during the month of June; I have so much going on like work, trips, and friends. This year, I have so many graduation parties that there isn’t a free weekend until the end of July! This isn’t me complaining because I love summer! I’m simply expressing that somehow summer is extremely busy.

Everyone wants to cram every hour of summer with fun because there are only three months of freedom before school. I know I do more reading during the summer than I do during the school year. Don’t get me wrong, I love school, but those extra hours in a day are nice.

In lieu of the end of the school year, I hope you finish strong and have a good summer. Thank you so much for sticking with Lauren and me this school year and I can speak for both of us when I say we hope to see you next year. Have a great summer!