Transitions can be tricky no matter what your situation, and sometimes letting go can be the hardest thing to do. Here’s a special Sheaf guide to griping appropriately about regular seasonal patterns and leaving your bitterness in the dust when the weather shifts.
Summer is a weird time and an especially weird time for students. What other demographic breaks up their workload completely for four months in the middle of the year and then goes right back to business like it’s no big deal? It’s okay to come out of these sunny months and into your classrooms feeling a little like you’ve entered into another dimension.
Why complain about what’s arguably the most widely favoured season at all? Well, sometimes you just need something to channel your anger and negative thoughts into, and that’s just fine if it helps you feel good when you need to.
Maybe you had great vacation plans and couldn’t afford to bring them to fruition. Maybe you or someone you love suffered an illness. Maybe you got dumped, or even did the dumping, or maybe you just don’t like the heat. Oh, god, the heat.
It’s fair to feel cheated, if your summer wasn’t spectacular. After all, we’re students, and we can feel cheated by just about anything. Summer is supposed to feel refreshing and relaxing, a time to help us heal and forget how terrible that last round of finals really was. If your summer was just stressful, what was the point of it at all?
If you’re one of those go-getter types, maybe you’ve tried summer classes. Summer classes can be a way to quell that weird part of you that fantasizes about flashcards and doing readings in the off season, or they can be a quick amplification of all the stress and anxiety you carry with you through fall, winter and spring.
Maybe you tried out a new job or even landed a position that you’ve been pining to add to the list on your resumé. Good for you! I’m sure working all those hours was great fun, until you paused to check Snapchat on a break, and Kate from your philosophy class was just bungee-jumping on Cebu Island in the Philippines, and your last story was about how you ate Mini-Wheats for every meal last week.
It’s alright to feel left out, and it’s natural to harbour some resentment towards those peers whose Instagram accounts are jam-packed with exciting adventures and delicious delicacies. It’s also fine to admit that you’re just not a summer person. Beaches are full of sand, and sunburns cause lasting damage. So, working closing shifts full-time at some café isn’t your idea of a fruitful and prosperous life.
Don’t be frustrated, if you didn’t experience the amount of personal growth you had slotted for yourself back in April. You can’t really force monumental development, and surely, you learned at least a few small things along the way that you just haven’t realized yet. Nothing happening to you can be a good thing. Don’t sweat it — or do. After all, the sun will still be beating down mercilessly for a little while longer.
Fall can be great, if you set your mind to it. It may be hokey, but you can change your outlook. Maybe it will take some whining about how shorts chafe your thighs, and how you can’t live without air conditioning, to set yourself up for a successful transition into a new season and a new school year. I think that’s just fine, as long as you can find ways to make positive change for yourself. Optimism is worth a little more than you’d think.
Graphic and text: Emily Migchels / Opinions Editor