All of high school, you want it to be summer. When it’s January and there’s snow on the ground and you’re studying for finals, you’re dreaming about sunny days by the pool and a respite from homework. By April, the yearning for summer becomes so intense that you start ten-week count-downs. There’s even a whole song dedicated to wanting it to be summer in High School Musical (and clearly nothing could be a better indicator of the true high school experience so…)
But then college starts. And yes, there’s a lot of work — mountains of psets and midterms and papers. But there’s also your friends and parties and so many opportunities for change and crazy new experiences… that suddenly summer doesn’t sound so appealing any more.
Don’t get me wrong — I cannot wait to see my friends and family (!!) — but the thought of having to leave Stanford and head back to the East Coast for a few months is a little tragic. My friends from home keep texting me about how devastated they are that freshman year is over — one of my best friends told me she cried the entire night before leaving her dorm — which isn’t helping with the dread.
So if you’re feeling a little anxious about still being in school when all your friends are home, you should read this to remember why there’s no better place than college. And if you’re a little terrified by the thought of finishing freshman year, then you can read this and feel sad with me. And if you’re a senior and you’re graduating soon, then I’m really sorry because I literally cannot imagine how terrifying that must be!
Reasons to relish Stanford’s late finish:
- At college, there’s complete and utter freedom. I can stay up till two in the morning. I can run around campus doing stupid things. I can go to Starbucks at 10:30pm and get coffee even though no one should really be drinking caffeine that late. I can wake up at seven in the morning and go to the gym because the gym is in walking distance of my room.
- My friends literally live next door, in my room (going to miss ya roomie), a dorm or two away, or at the very furthest, West campus. Back home, unless you live in New York City where everything is crammed together, your friends are like five miles away. And it’s a drag.
- Also all the new opportunities to meet new people. I love the fact that every morning, I literally have no idea what the day will bring. There’s so much potential that it can feel intoxicating.
- I can be a complete and utter slob and no one comes to yell at me to clean up my room. Or brush my hair better. Or not say “like”. (I’m not naming any names though… you know who you are)
- And the California weather! Connecticut is pretty in the summer, but I also have to work in New York, where sulfurous stenches cling to every block and waves of heat rise up through the subway grates. California summer weather seems dreamy.
- We’re so close to the beach! Half Moon Bay is so pretty; if you haven’t been, 10/10 recommend, though I’d bring a sweatshirt if I were you because it’s much windier than any photo suggests!
- All my interesting classes. I love learning ok?!
I’m making myself depressed, so now I’m going to remind myself of all the things that do exist at home that are happy.
- My own kitchen. Where I can cook my own food. Wilbur, your food has been mediocre at best. Will not miss the dry grilled chicken or limp salad greens, to be honest.
- My own beautiful bathroom. One of the showers in our hall bathroom floods every time you shower in it, so you end up ankle deep in hair-filled water by the end of it. Plus there’s weird dirt in the corners, dead fruit flies clustered by the sinks, and persistent spiders crawling up the stalls. Can we say ew?
- Friends — I love all my college friends, but there’s nothing like seeing your best friend of a billion years back home. And yes, it’s a little sad every time my high school friends Snapchat me photos of them at The Whitney or eating Emack & Bolio’s Ice Cream… or banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery.
- FAMILY!!! The one part of living in California that is highly unfortunate is that I never get to see all of my favorite people in the entire world.
- Peace and quiet. Because sometimes there’s so much going on that my head feels like it might explode, and that’s when you know… as much as I might not want to head back home in a few weeks, it’s certainly time for a little respite.
In the meantime, however, let’s enjoy the end of spring quarter, shall we?
Contact Caroline Dunn at cwdunn98 ‘at’ stanford.edu.