Beginning way back in elementary school, summer really meant break time. In those carefree days, summer was a time of no routine. Summer meant long, lazy days at the pool, steamy afternoons laying on Grandma’s shady porch and an odd sense of both boredom and panic that school would start again in just a few short weeks. As the years passed by, summer signaled the opportunity to earn some money at a menial job, a time to go to the beach with friends and long hours just hanging out, again with that strange mixed feeling of boredom and dread of the first day back at school.
Fast forward to the present. For some three hundred or so NRCC students, this weekend signals the beginning of the rest of their lives. Graduation means new jobs, better jobs or a transfer to somewhere else to begin studies anew. For the rest of us, it is summer break again. Although many of us will jump back into the school routine next Thursday when first summer session begins, that summer feeling will still be there. No matter how the time between late May and late August is spent, it always has that summer feel to it. The pace seems slower, the expectations are lower and there is that underlying feeling that now is the time to chill because the arrival of fall changes everything. It does not seem to matter if the duties of the day are the same in July as they are in October, the feeling is not the same. Summer is for Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett while the rest of the year is more Taylor Swift and Journey. The television is in reruns but the commercials taunt us with the anticipation of fall season premiers. In the meantime, the movie theaters are the entertainment destination of choice for summer “blockbusters” (Harry Potter, anyone? Be in line on July 15th). At work, bosses go on vacation and the pace seems slower and more relaxed. The dress code seems to slack off and quitting time on Friday often comes a little earlier.
Summer is not simply another season of the year. It is a feeling, an attitude. No matter what summer brings to your daily life, it is still a time for a break. Relish the casual and relaxed days and use the time to recharge your mind and soul. It is a time to do good things for yourself and others before the hustle and bustle of fall returns.