Around this time last year, the end of summer seemed to be ending on solid ground. My future was comfortably set in stone; no last minute changes of plan were on any horizon. I had my books, I had many of my things packed, I knew when I would be moving back to campus and who I would see when I got there, and I even had a good, end of summer hangout session planned with my closest local friends. But this year, with only a couple more weeks before fall classes start, I feel like I'm in a state of flux.
For one thing, work on repairing the Delt Haus is going to take longer than I feared. I learned today that our insurance only just gave our contractor the okay to start work on the restoration of our upstairs. With the sheer amount of work that needs to be done to make the place habitable again, there's no way I'll be able to move in until at least a couple weeks after classes start. What's more, the possibilites I was told about--being put up in a hotel, possibly given a room on campus for a brief period--don't quite sound like they're options to be taken. I still don't know very many details as to why this is, but at the moment, it's looking as if I'll have to shuttle back and forth from Meridian to Caldwell every day until what's likely to be the middle of September. My mother has kindly offered me some assistance on gas money, although I feel guilty about accepting it.
I've never spent the first weeks of any term living off campus, and it feels strange that I'm going to do so this year. The first couple weeks are always rather busy, moreso with social activities than academic ones. I'm not worried about whatever homework loads I'll be assigned, as there's tons of quiet areas on campus to get some reading and writing done. I'm not even worried about all those start of term meetings I'm likely going to commit to, including choir auditions. But to not have a "home base" on campus where I can shut a door behind me and enjoy the privileges of complete privacy is going to feel weird. Even though I'll continue to stay with my parents for the first couple of weeks, I'm going to be busy enough on campus that I'm likely going to spend the majority of my days and nights there. I shouldn't feel like I'm going to be homeless, and yet that's what I fear it will feel like.
As far as summer ending goes, I don't have my books for class yet--I've ordered them, but one book is on backorder, which slows down the rest of my order. I'm assurred that they'll arrive by the start of classes, but I was also assurred that I would have a place to stay on campus, or at least closer to campus, than where I'll be ending up those first two weeks. It might be silly to be doubtful of their word, but I can't help but worry. Problems come in groups, I've learned, so I won't feel completely comfortable until the book order comes through and proves itself to not be one of those problems.
I'm also not sure if my Meridian friends and I can get together for a proper, end of summer send off like we did last year. With most of us working jobs with schedules that themselves are constantly in flux, it's been difficult to find a time that works for all of us. I'm determined to go bowling with them before the summer closes, but I don't want to leave any of them out of such an event.
And as for my time at Marshalls, my last day of the summer is going to happen on Friday. One of my managers actually thought my last day was last Friday, not this one, and gave me a dozen cupcakes as a parting gift when my shift was over that day. They're like the ones in the picture above, with those Pixar Planes toppers. I'm not sure why he went with Planes, but why complain about cupcakes? In any case, I should be looking completely forward to my last day, but I don't know what the next summer is going to bring. Should I be feeling sad that I might not be working there next summer? Or relieved? Either way, I wish I knew for certain so I could properly sort out whatever feelings I have toward the place. I don't do well with ambivalence.
I'm hoping I'll get a sense of normalcy soon enough. I'm not the biggest fan of surprises, and I'm hoping that I can find myself in a routine so I can exit my current fluxed state.
Clayton is a junior creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho.