And so it begins again. After a summer of listlessness and procrastination, the school year has now begun once again here at Saint Xavier. The sea of emerald and forest green has been cut low to gently bristle the toes. The looming trees that line the road remain standing tall to shade the palaces of which one reads on a summer day. Cicadas sing their nostalgic song of childhood days gone by remaining from high up in the trees, the steamy air of summer still gushes to tell us ‘not yet.’ And as that first day began, the sight of lost doe-eyed freshmen brings back a sense of amusing youth and nostalgic naivety to the school grounds.
It’s a marvel to be had seeing the faces of those first years and remembering that once we were so. With their nice collared shirts and prim and proper summer dresses, their almost foreign appearance becomes apparent in the sea of dull-eyed upperclassmen. It is so out of place seeing these magazine catalogue-looking kids walking down the hall with almost a swagger about them. And despite the small gap in our ages and my own youthful age, I feel old, old in heart and temperament. While they walk aimlessly playing the latest mobile game, I yearn for the free days that I may remember such a time that I was able to wander into the park district and fish for snails along the rocky shores or weaving words into a story of people and places and places with people and people from places. Like an old man watching rambunctious children walk off to school while he remains glued to his stoop, I find myself content in my amusement of the strangeness of youth as if I am somehow separate from it as if I were somehow detached.
Perhaps it is I that is out of place as I sit lazily in the diner with worn sandals and dirt-covered sweats and Tee. Is it really the excitement and nervous fright of the first years that should be alien to this school as so many others? Does feeling a sense of adventure in the sea of the mundanity of those of us accustomed to life here so wrong? I wonder if such a feeling as that is such a bad thing in this place that sings a song of flight. We all want to get out and get into the real world but when we’re there we want to go back to these carefree days when being a kid was something we took for granted. And here, I feel myself at a crossroads. The nervous fright of nearing the end of my time here begins to loom over me now. The eventual bidding of farewell to friends only a year older draws near every day. Here I am hapless as I inch towards the inevitable day when I will be left only to remember those days when nothing but what I’d do tomorrow mattered. It is these things that bring up this bitter and yet so sickly sweet nostalgia for those endless summer days that have me stepping back to that warm feeling of independence from home but still knowing I had a place to go back to. But perhaps the misguided ventures of the first years are just the end of that same accustom they had the year before as their days as high school students went by. And perhaps it is that same feeling of adventure and nervous excitement that will come when I am handed that diploma and take my first step out the door on my way to work. And so it begins again and the days count on as they had done before.
This year has seemed so short in its passing and yet so much has been done and has happened. I have finished my second year here at Saint Xavier and it doesn’t seem real. I am going to be a junior in the fall. To be honest, it’s frightening to see that my school career here is already halfway over. It seems like only a short time ago I was still a high schooler anxious of my future in college. Now, I am a college student and I am anxious about what the future after college will be like. Much thought has gone through my head as this year became the pivotal moment in my and my family’s life. My father is retiring after twenty-odd years of hard manual work, and with that, a new change in our family dynamic. It is said that sophomore year is when a student “gets it.” What that is can be debated. Is it when a student finally realizes that their major was the wrong one? Or is it that they realize what they were called for, in the lack of a better word? I find it to be the latter. After volunteering at the Salem United Church of Christ’s PAPS or Homeless Shelter and with SXU’s Bread Truck and just interacting with people, I realized that I did indeed pick the right career in mind. I found that going out there and helping others was not just the wholesome thing a person should do but also a fun one. There is no point in a career or education if you’re not having fun. I want to enjoy what I’m doing in my livelihood. That is what I believe.
Finals are next week. I have my first one tomorrow. I’m not completely stressed out like a lot of my friends, but it does have me thinking. Once they are done with, what is there to do? What more can I do here until next semester? And what am I to do this summer? I am hopeful that I will get a job to help support my family. Since my brother is graduating college in the next two weeks, there is an excitement and an anxiety for him as well. Will he get a job following graduation? Will my parents be able to pay the payments of the Parent Plus Loan? All these spiral in my head as I crack a carefree joke to my friends. I don’t want to be a bother, and so I keep it away. This is my problem, why share it? Maybe that’s my mistake. But I can’t worry about that now, finals are here.
I feel that this year was a good one. I made new friends and cemented ones I know will last me a lifetime. My heart warms and pangs at the knowledge that many will graduate this year while I will be left behind. I live far away and visiting them is beyond the question. But I am confident this is not the end. I smile knowing that, but I frown for the future. I feel anxious looking to what the future entails, but I am hopeful that at least this step in my life is over and much more are to come as my aspirations to become a teacher draw ever nearer. Now I look out my window, the sun is setting. End comes this day but there comes the promise of tomorrow which is uncertain. Uncertain as it is, it is beautiful what this new day shall bring.
After a long, hard winter…filled multiple below zero days and TONS of snow…spring weather has finally arrived! Even though it’s been raining for the past few days and the sunshine is limited, I couldn’t be happier to know that summer is coming. After perusing Buzzfeed a little & finding a lot of great articles about summer 2014, I stumbled on one that was actually really awesome. It’s titled, The 58 Best Summer Sensations, and here are a few of the examples that they gave.
The balmy breeze of a still night
The relieving coolness of an air conditioned movie theater on a hot day
The feeling of the sun
Getting caught in a warm thunderstorm
The taste of sweet, ripe fruit
Taking off your bathing suit in the evening and seeing the milky lines between your newly darkened skin
A sudden, refreshing breeze through an open window
The familiar childhood sound of the ice cream truck
The race of eating ice cream in a cone before it starts to drip and melt around your fingers
Remembering what it’s like to be a kid on summer vacation
Feeling healthy and alive after playing a sport outside
The total freedom of running barefoot on soft, dewy grass
The smell of barbecue glazed meat roasting on an open grill
The choral symphony of cicadas at night
The fragrant smell of sunscreen
The thrill of riding roller coasters
The unmistakable smell of freshly cut grass
The feelings of warmth that envelopes you as you walk out of a freezing cold building
School has been a MAJOR bummer this semester so needless to say, I cannot waittttt to get these last few weeks of the school year outta the way…and get to beautiful summer!!! I need warm weather, a tan, and lots and lots of free time more than anything else. Well, maybe not more than I need my student loans paid off, but it’s pretty close.
Thanks for reading!
PS, if you want to check out the full article, here’s the link! http://www.buzzfeed.com/dianabruk/the-best-summer-sensations
I don’t know about all of you, but I am pretty glad that school is finally wrapping up and this semester is coming to a close. The end of this semester came by very quickly and I started getting extremely busy!It’s time to get excited about the summer!
This summer I have a lot of great things going on!
The week after school ends I’ll be going to two concerts, one at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago and then the following day I’ll be making a trip out to Columbus, Ohio to go to a huge music festival in Rock on the Range.
At the bottom lounge I’ll be seeing the band Red. I saw them earlier this year, but this time they will be headlining their own show. They put on a pretty good show, so I’m excited for that!
The following day, I’ll be taking a trip to Columbus, Ohio for Rock on the Range featuring a great lineup consisting of Halestorm, Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, A Day to Remember, Stone Sour, and the Smashing Pumpkins. I don’t think I could find a show with a better line up, so I absolutely cannot wait for this show! This should be one busy summer, but I am ready for it!
Make sure you all go out and have a great summer, we don’t have very many summers left before we enter the real world.