Summer vs. school personas

Summer vs. school personas

Out of the DHS doors burst a swarm of students on June 18. All that crammed information from finals flushed from our brains as thoughts of night swimming and bonfires replaced them. At last an upperclassmen, and finally with a car – nothing would stop me, an amped up new junior, from enjoying my summer nights.

Summer kicked off with my first real “rager,” or so it was called, and my curiosity to such a practice only drew me in closer to that way of life.

And so it continued. A different friend’s house every day, a party this Friday, a lunch date the next day – living summer to the fullest right from the start. Meeting so many new people, it was hard to think about trust when I got caught up in the moment.

So there were some bumps in the road.

When there’s a guy suddenly belting out his love for you over a one-time misadventure, well, that was quite the bump. Throughout all the hateful texts and rumors, there was no way I was letting that trip me up with four weeks of summer left. My road of change and adventure this summer would be whatever I made of it. And as I traveled a little further on down that road, I realized it certainly was worth continuing with what I found and some of the co-workers I became close to.

This summer of rejuvenation and experimenting only left me to wonder what this new school year would bring – upholding the image I left off as the innocent, blushing sophomore or the new, educated version of a true upperclassmen.

Having a 10-week period to ourselves a lot of change can happen. There’s no longer a teacher in the front of the classroom barking what to do or think. We start thinking on our own. Something about the summer sun and alone time we are faced with allows our minds to wander, thinking about everything we once were and what we are capable of becoming.

During the school year, there isn’t much time to think about getting in touch with our inner hipster or staging a self-intervention. Our brains are thinking more along the lines of, “Homework, practice, tests, homework, ahh! I still have to write that essay!” A nine-month build up of that chaos in school allows us to take a breather in the summer.

We reflect on the school year, thinking to ourselves, “God, did I really wear THAT the first day of school?” or “Did I really date THAT girl…” or even “Is THAT what I looked like with braces?!” These realizations can allow us to act a little different in the summer – or a lot.

“If you leave and come back a different person, you’ll get more attention,” said junior Jess Lacombe. Some people love attention. If you’ve been sliding by unnoticed these past three years and want to go out with a bang, reinventing yourself is probably a really good way to achieve that attention.

Over such a long period, “people tend to drift apart from some of their friends and become closer to people they wouldn’t expect,” said senior Emily Quinn.

All these different circumstances revolve around the idea of changing ourselves for other people. Doing this can lead us to lose touch with the person we really are, or it can help us to find ourselves.

If you’re at a party for the first time, and you’re presented with situations you’re curious about, why not act upon your feelings? We’re always told never to succumb to peer pressure, and all of our so called “mistakes” are blamed on peer pressure, when it’s really just a reluctance to admit to our personal curiosity. We should never do anything we don’t want to, but just because we are told something isn’t what somebody else would do, why should it not be something we do?

When one of my close friends was relentlessly chastising me for my behavior this summer, I took into account what they were saying to me and that they were saying it because they cared. However, if I understand the consequences of my actions, I’m not going to turn my life around because what I’m doing doesn’t agree with somebody else. It may be selfish of me to say that, but it’s just as selfish for someone to think that they have the right to order me around when my actions are never against them or anybody else.

We receive so much criticism because people say they care about us, but we can’t let our friends dictate how we live our lives and whom we hang out with. They want the best for us, as we want the best for them, but it’s impossible to let someone be the best they can be when they’re controlling how you live your life.

Peer pressure is relevant everywhere – in both “good” and “bad” situations. Maybe hanging out with that guy isn’t something your best friend would approve of, but it’s probably not going to ruin you. Summertime is summertime, a time to break rules and be free.

No matter what decisions we make, as long as we are prepared to face the consequences, make the decision for yourself and stand behind it.

My summer this year was different than any summer prior. I learned, lived it up, and loved every second of it. I am going to take all that experience with me as I travel even further down this road of life, letting these experiences always remind me of the person this summer made me.