Summer is almost here, and I cannot contain the excitement I’ve been feeling about freshman year coming to an end. I experienced a lot of laughs and learned more than I ever thought possible. Everything from learning how to calculate limiting reagent stoichiometry in chemistry to constructing thorough, argumentative essays in my expository writing class. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to attend such a beautiful university where I am able to pursue just about any subject area that I wish to study. Without that being said, I am definitely ready to relax my shoulders this coming summer and rejuvenate my mind and energy for this upcoming fall semester. 

This summer, I am going to be working for a local Norman church in their children’s summer program. I absolutely adore working with children and watching them grow in their faith and love, and this experience will allow me to just that. At first, when I began searching for a summer job, I was constantly rolling my eyes at the thought of waking up at 8:00 am to go to a place that I showed little to no interest in, like a restaurant or a retail store. However, when I found this children’s program, I smiled at the thought of performing a job at a church that surrounds itself with children of all different ages and Jesus’ love and grace. I realize no 19-year old wants to put in hours over the summer, but I know it’s my only option to save more for school and to be able to study abroad this next spring, and I honestly believe that this summer job is going to be more of an adventure, rather than feeling like “work.” 

Along with my job this summer, I also have gathered other ideas to plan for this summer. That way, I am not always in work mode. My first goal is to, of course, spend lots of time with my family. Whether it’s going on vacation, taking road trips, visiting extended family, or just hanging out on the back porch of my family home, I know any time spent with them is going to be both eventful and relaxing. And, my sister will be adding to the family come July when she has her baby, and I’m exponentially ecstatic for the future of my growing family. 

Furthermore, this summer I plan to read all the books I have listed on my on-going list of books. Yes, I realize how nerdy that is to share. However, I am an English student, so reading literature is probably one of my most-favorited hobbies, when I am not binge-watching Felicity or Gilmore Girls. Ah, the best. Plus, during the semester, my reading time is completely taken over by the textbook readings, so I never have time to enjoy what I call “fun reads.”

Lastly, I plan to extensively relax my mind from the numerous stresses that have stayed glued to my entire body over the course of freshman year. College is such a stressful environment, and at times, it can be truly damaging to students’ overall mental health. At the end of my fall semester, I genuinely couldn’t maintain a good mental health status. My mind was everywhere, and it took me a long time to get back on track, and to positively progress through the year. With that being said, I hope that summer will be a time for me to heal from the crazy adventure that is freshman year. 

Goodbye freshman year. You were quite difficult, but IT’S FINE, IT’S FINE.