We are in the final stretch of this school year, and that calls for some mixed emotions. While it is a fact we are fed up with the pile of finals on our plate, and our late end date compared to the rest of the schools around us, it is bittersweet because the end of the year means the end of a lot of things for a couple months, or for seniors a lot longer. As much as I love our little Gustavus bubble, this is the time of the year that I am ready to slide off the hill faster than I slide when traying.
The first reason why a number of us are ready to stay so long is because of exciting opportunities to be a part of this summer. Internships, new jobs, camp counselors, research; it is different for everyone, but all are a nice change of pace to improve ourselves in different ways than we do on campus. “I’m excited for summer because I will be heading back to camp, and I’m excited for the organized chaos of being a kid,” Junior Paige Wormer said.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I am excited for my internship this summer because it is a chance to put what I have learned into action, and a chance to dip a toe into what my future career may be like. Although, working 40-hour work weeks seems like a lot more than dipping a toe in, it’s more like being thrown in. We are at the awkward age of being unsure about our next steps, and the way I see it, the summer is the chance to ease some worries and figure out those next steps. For the seniors who are starting new jobs, there is a lot to look forward to. One of those things being a much bigger paycheck, but also knowing that Gustavus has prepared them well enough to make their life count.
Another reason to be ready for summer is for all that summer brings. As great as life at Gustavus is, there are just some things that can’t be done. One of those things is lake days. There is no better feeling than spending the day out on a boat with friends and sunshine without the thought of a paper due the following Monday.
The closest thing to a lake day on campus is chilling around the puddles when the walk from Uhler to the Campus Center floods, or maybe a kiddie pool set up in the yard. As they say, the tan lines (or sun burns) will fade, but the memories of falling through the dock, shredding on the jet ski, or pushing a friend off the tube full speed will not. “I am so over the long cold winter we had; summer and warm weather gets me excited because I can be outside more,” Junior Jana Blomberg said. Summer also brings other experiences like concerts and MLB games. When I think of summer, I think of a country concert on a Saturday night, the sun setting over the horizon of Minneapolis and the lovely voices Florida Georgia Line echoing through Target Field. Speaking of Target Field, it is always fun to catch a Twin’s Game, especially when they are decent like they are this year. Summer is equivalent to the seventh inning stretch: a little bit of a break, but just long enough to be excited for the next inning to start, or in our case, our next year at Gustavus.
Lastly, as charming as St. Peter and Gustavus are, there is a point where it is necessary to get away from “just Gustavus things” for a while. I have not met one Gustie that enjoys being blown around in the wind every single day. It is amazing how all that stops once we get off the hill. In addition, a little hiatus from schoolwork and caf food is never a bad thing. As nice as it is to know what is in the caf every single day because of the corresponding food and days, there are some days where I’m feeling a steak on a Wednesday, but as we know, on Wednesdays we eat grilled cheese.
Summer means freedom to eat a gyro on Tuesday. For those that live in the dorms still, being able to shower without having to walk all the way down the hall in nothing but a towel is such a luxury. It is the little things that take for granted when we live in the dorms that make summer so much better when it comes. “I’m excited for no more papers, tests, projects, and presentations for three months,” Sophomore Emma Lohman said. Other “just Gustavus things” that we are happy to take a break from are the endless floods, icy sidewalks, the toaster oven we call Lund, and walking from the top floor to the basement to do laundry.
It can be stressful watching other schools get out earlier than we do, and that just shows that we do desire a break. They say your college years are the best years of your life, and they truly are, which makes it hard to take that break sometimes. But at the same time, I’ve come to find that taking a break from life at Gustavus makes me love it even more when I come back for the fall. Just like we are ready to drive off the hill at the end of the year, it parallels the end of the summer when we are ready to drive back up and do it all over again.