Summer 2016. Or as I have christened it, The Last Summer Ever. I’ve completed 18 years of schooling, and the summers sandwiched between semesters have always been precious. My summers have always been full of music, camping, sailing, hiking, and swimming. Recent years have seen unpaid internships, house sitting, odd jobs, and clinic shifts creep into my summer schedule. Last year I realized that my summer was no longer recognizable as such—I was working full-time, filling 3 positions in the clinic while house sitting and dog walking any spare moment. I was getting burnt out, working so much without fitting in time for friends and summertime activities. I vowed that next summer, the summer of 2016, I would strike a balance between work and vacation. And I have so far: working part-time, camping in Acadia National Park, and revitalizing my love of learning world music. Part of growing up and entering the working world is to realize that the summers of our youth have ended. But I also believe that there’s more to life than our work and professional lives, and that our happiness is worth the sacrifice of a few weeks’ lost pay.
Because summer isn’t just about immediate gratification, is it? Here in the Northeast, I know family and friends who spend months looking forward to summer, planning a new garden bed or buying parts to maintain the boat. So many dreams can be fulfilled during summer, and I knew that I could really use the memories of a great Summer 2016 to fuel me during the tough year to come.
Why do I call it The Last Summer Ever? Because it’s the last summer break between school years that I’ll ever have. During the summer of 2017, I’ll be in in my fourth and final year, working in clinics. It’s hard to describe how much I love summer in Vermont, and these 10 weeks might be the last Vermont summer I’ll get to experience for a long time. And what a great summer it’s becoming. ♥