Leaving Quinnipiac last May, I came home with many expectations and plans for my first summer back from college. Little did I know, my time off wouldn’t go according to plan.
The month of May was relaxed and exactly what I had expected–days tanning by the pool, getting to the gym every day, working at my high school job here and there, and seeing friends. However, the two months to follow, June and July, were not the same. My internship with a local daily newspaper proceeded to take over my life. Even though this internship was a wonderful experience and a great way to get my foot in the door of the reporting world, my social life fell to pieces.
Without trying to complain about the long hours I worked Monday through Friday, and my paying weekend job, my relaxing summer abruptly took a turn for the worse.
I found myself not wanting to do anything when I got home, from either my long days as a reporter-in-training during the week or as a food server on weekends. Gradually, my summer became all about work–which yes, I understand was what I signed up for– but I didn’t realize how quickly my free time would vanish.
As summer progressed, specifically within the months of my internship, I wondered if my summers were going to be like this for the rest of my life. Will my future summers be filled with seemingly endless responsibility? Or something even more daunting: is this how summers get as we get older?
Not only did my amount of free time decrease this summer, but many other things seemed to have changed as well.
Priorities change, people change, and frankly, life changes. At one point I was content with my work overload, knowing that eventually it would pay off, my internship would be a great item on my resumé and my weekend job would put some cash in my pocket, but I felt as though I had become consumed with work.
The start of August left me 23 days of summer to do what I wanted. I immediately met up with my close friends from school for the weekend, picked up some more hours at the deli and tried to be as social as possible.
Turns out that it was a little harder than I thought. Everyone was enjoying their summer when I had been crafting my career in a busy newsroom. Losing touch with friends over those two months inconspicuously led to burning bridges, all because I didn’t know how to manage my time or was too tired to even try and figure it out.
Looking back, I realize that a simple phone call is what keeps us in touch, an instant message can keep us informed, and a quick “what’s up?” text can keep us happy. As time goes on, I’m definitely going to have to reorganize my work schedule with my personal schedule.
And even though next summer I’m crossing my fingers to land an internship that is just as valuable, I’m just as hopeful to spend irreplaceable time with family and friends when I’m done with my work day.