“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“I’m doing this for the both of us.”
“Our religions clash and my ancestors won’t be happy.”
I said these things to the Optimist staff when I broke up with them at the end of last semester. OK, maybe not that last one.
Nevertheless, it did feel like I was breaking up with them as I packed my bags and left Abilene for these past four months. Now my newsroom sabbatical is coming to an end as I return in the fall as Editor in Chief.
And even though the paper won’t be printed again after graduation until the first day of school, the preparation for next year starts now. And this doesn’t apply to just the Optimist, but to every returning freshmen, sophomore, junior and victory-lapping senior. Summer is a time for rejuvenation, but also a time of formulation of next year’s plans.
Enjoy your pool time, your summer camps, your mission trips, your internships. Enjoy the time spent with your family and the time spent earning extra cash.
But use each of these as a vehicle to put what’s most important to you back into place, before reentering the world of essays and PowerPoints. Summer is a three-month allowance we’re given to spend on thinking less about school and more about why we go to school. The chaos of school and social life often sends us into survival mode: a fast-paced, high-pressure lifestyle that is good for intense studying, but not for reflecting on why we are studying. Summer is your chance focus on your passions without professors or GPAs.
The same goes for us at the Optimist. I won’t have to spend the summer worrying about pictures that need to be taken or stories that need to be edited. But as a staff, we have to use this time to think about why those things are important and how we can improve them.
Do the same with your summer. If you didn’t like something about this past school year, use your summer experiences to find the changes you need to make. It may be hard to break up with your new camp friends or your hard-earned tan come August, but every summer knows that it was just a fling and we will only ever be “just friends.”