Summer After High School vs. Summer After College: A Huge Fucking Different

The Relief of Summer

As of today, I officially have a month left until I have to return to my bittersweet experience that is college. I think if I could describe this summer in one word, I think that word would be “clarity”. This summer has honestly made me realize what I need in order to be happy and who I need in order for me to stay…well, me. Being at home for this long has definitely been the best for me, but I am honestly so ready for me to head back to Spokane.

Same Summer, Different Experiences

The summer after high school and the summer after my first year of college have honestly been so drastically different. The summer after high school was honestly just a time to spend time with your classmates that you were already seeing every day before. You were seeing the same people that you saw in your classes previously, and if you wanted to see other people, you at least knew they were in a thirty minute range of you. But after going to a different college than your close high school comrades, by the time you see them in the summer, whether it is subtle or not, you notice a slight growth or change in that person. You don’t know what might’ve caused it, nor do you know the experiences that they have went through. But either way, you notice it, and the change is noticeable enough to completely change the way you guys interact. Sure, you could still be the greatest of friends and get back to where you left off, but there is still this itching feeling inside of you that wonders if they’re telling you everything. There are even some people that you rarely see anymore, completely changing the way you guys interact. It’s an eerie feeling that you sometimes can’t shake off.

What I have learned after my first year of college is that high school friends are completely different than high school friends. With high school friends, you see them every day, hang out with them every day, and have a sleepover here and there to strengthen bonds. But with college friends, you are literally living with them. They literally see you at your best and worst moments and are there for you as soon as you send the SOS text. Even now, as I am in my bed writing this, I yearn to be with my college family so much. Facetiming and texting can only do so much these days that the day I have to go back to school is a day.

I think the one thing that everyone has in common is that we’re all growing up. These different experiences we face, both at home and in college, are steps to making us the person we were meant to be in life. As someone who doesn’t know if they believe in God but still believes in the idea of fate (I don’t know how this makes sense. It just DOES), I do believe that the people we interact with were meant to interact with us and are stepping stones to who we were meant to be. Summer vacation is just a way for us to grow up without the stressors that school can provide.

So as I begin to bid my summer vacation farewell, I await the growth all of my beautiful friends will obtain during the next obstacle in their life: sophomore year.