So as I sit here in the heat of summer, soaking in the sun from the day rafting the river, I realize I only have 25 days left in Bend. It hit me that it will be two and a half months before I come home again, and I had a little bit of a heart attack.
I love where I live. I have traveled a bit, but never longer than 6 weeks away from Bend. But then I thought about how much I need this.
A lot of us get some sort of financial aid to cover our college tuition but we rarely look at how that affects our attitudes.
During the summer break, I had the option of either staying in the U.S. and getting a campus job or going home. I would have had to get airfare and find a job back in Lesotho which would not even pay me half as much as what I would be getting in the U.S. Nonetheless, I flew home.
August is a month that I usually hate. It’s too hot, the novelty of sleeping in till 10 is gone, and I’ve temporarily exhausted my ability to read for hours at a time. Add an eagerness for school to resume to that mix, and you can see why August is normally a bad month for me.
My junior year is looking a lot closer this side of July, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that summer vacation is now on a time limit. In some ways, this is similar to my days playing in chess tournaments as a middle schooler--a friend and I will be playing a nice, slow-paced game, thinking hard about our next moves, when suddenly a tall, graying man in a suit slaps a clock on your right side, reminding you that you don't have all day and that you better make the most of what you have left.
There is a reason they call it ‘the dog days of summer.’ It’s so hot here in Idaho, my neighbor began suffering from mild hallucinations that he was a border collie named Trixie who likes long walks on the beach and chasing the mailman.
The other day, I got a text from a school acquaintance asking after my fall schedule. I replied, and the inquirer made the discovery I think she wanted to find, namely that she and I would likely be in the same literature seminar. She was enthusiastic about the commonality because I think she had been worried about where to sit. Or more accurately, who to sit with.
The majority of my summer to date has not been spent on exciting trips to foreign lands, spontaneous adventures with a bunch of my closest friends, or even being as lazy as possible. I would absolutely love to do all of those things, of course, but the fact remains that life is a pretty expensive adventure by itself. It's the never ending cycle of financial responsibility--you need money to do stuff, and you must do stuff to get money.