Editorials and Opinions

Seif Says (Ben Seifer): Unpacking Summer

By Denebola
Published: September 2008

Every day for two months I woke up in a cabin by the beach. I lived with 11 of the greatest guys I’ve ever met, and the place was filled with beautiful girls I have become very close to over the last nine years. I made a lifetime’s worth of memories and was completely happy.

And then, one day, it ended. I was regular Ben again, back in Newton. I had this horrible sensation that I had just lost something close to me that I would never have again. As an incoming senior, this hit me especially hard because I realized that, in some way or another, my summers would be different from here on out. Subsequent summers would have an undercurrent of commitment to college, work, and the start of adulthood.

The days leading up to school slipped away, and all of a sudden it was a school night. I watched my clock radio turn to 12 a.m. and watched the date rapidly change from September third to fourth. Summer was over; I felt as if I had sprinted a mile and someone kicked me in the chest. I was breathless, my summer had ended and there was nothing I could do about it.

I’m sure some variation of this feeling is very familiar to many of you. No matter what you did this summer; if you went to camp, worked, interned, life guarded, went to Europe, or just sat on your porch all day, it was your choice. Summer vacation isn’t great because school is out, it’s great because you have control over the day again. For ten months straight we wake up early, go to school, practice, rehearse, do homework, go to bed, and then start all over the next day. We surrender to the routine of school.

Some of you are thinking: “I don’t do anything after school or “I haven’t done homework since the seventh grade. But even if you are someone who does absolutely nothing, there are still proverbial  chains fastened to your ankles; there’s always some deadline, obligation or looming alarm waiting to buzz. But after you turn in that last final, for 83 days that alarm clock can be yanked out of the wall. Being 17 with the world as your playground is a pretty spectacular feeling: the chains are off.

However you spent your time this summer, hopefully you did whatever made you happy, had some laughs, and made some memories along the way. While it’s easier said than done, there comes a point when mourning summer’s end serves no purpose.

Instead of looking back on the good memories, they weigh you down and ruin the present. School is by no means a day at the beach with your friends, but it’s no Alcatraz either. Granted, nobody enjoys homework or taking tests, but if we accept that, as students, it’s our job to learn, and if we come to school most days with a reasonably good attitude, it will make getting out of bed just a little easier. Trust me, counting down the days until the next weekend, break, or even summer will essentially make the clock run backwards.

So next time you’re sitting in long-block with another four classes ahead of you, think of your summer. Don’t think about how much you miss it; be happy it happened.

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