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A Summer Education

This summer I returned home after my first year at Syracuse. I wrote for a local newspaper, I learned and grew as a reporter, I ate dinner every night with my dad, I saw high school friends- I established a routine similar to that of being back at college or in high school.

But this summer taught me a lot…

  • The value of time.

I spent mornings in the office, receiving my assignments, then afternoons at home carrying them out or at interviews. From this, I learned how fast times flies. Three months of routine flew by like one fun week. Things I kept putting off never got done. Time is precious and I should have enjoyed the summer more.

  • Travel. Travel.

Having grown up in Canada, Michigan and Texas (all vastly different places) I can’t say my heart belongs to one region. I feel ties to all and through that, I’ve learned to love travel. I love seeing new places, picking up basic words in a foreign language, investing myself in a new culture. A series of circumstances lead me home all summer instead of in a study abroad program, but I still had the opportunity to travel. When I saw pictures of all my friends in various places around the world, I yearned to be anywhere other than the suburbia I lived in. Luckily, I travelled through Colorado, I immersed myself in nature, I spent time in Canada and Grand Rapids, and I had the adventure of a lifetime in Istanbul. This summer showed me I can travel, and I should plan ahead to be able to.

  • Family Dinners

Growing up I loved sitting down after the evening news to dinner with my mom, dad and sister. But a lot of things changed this year. All summer, I sat down to dinner with my dad. Last summer I probably would have done anything to get to eat with my friends or their families, but this year I made no effort to. Dinner with my dad at 6:30 was important to me. I wanted to sit with him, I wanted to hang out and talk about our days and let him know he wasn’t alone. Family dinners were something I always looked forward to, even if they’ve transitioned into merely a father-daughter date every night.

  • Internships

Mmm… the bane of any college student’s existence: internships. For college students with amazing internship opportunities, they’re pretty much the coolest thing next to sliced bread and liquor stores that don’t I.D. For those who applied a million places and came across the paradox of “you don’t have any experience” and needing a place to “give you experience,” internships suck. For me, it wasn’t too bad. I was able to get paid, learn about reporting, establish myself at a Houston area newspaper, get real bylines and learn the business first-hand. While I had this internship all summer, I spent time searching for more. I landed one with the Creative Minds Group at the Toronto International Film Festival, applied for others, and did research on ones I could want in the future. Basically, I was able to plan for possible internships….and when I’m swamped with 19 credits next semester and barely have time to call home, I’ll be happy I got this done sooner rather than later.

  • That true friends can grow separately and never grow apart.

Let’s be honest, I came home for the first summer after high school and made contact with 1/3 of the people I hung out with last summer. Even my main group of friends made it together less and less as the summer went on. But what I realized (and am eternally grateful for) is that my real and true friends, though we couldn’t always talk as much as we wanted to while at school, are still my real friends now. We get in mini fights, we argue about insignificant things, we hold each other accountable and confront each other when we’re frustrated, but we’re best friends and basically siblings.

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