The first two weeks of class are officially over, which means that summer is now a distant memory. Like every summer before it, it went by far too quickly. I’ve found that since I entered university, summers feel much shorter, despite being twice as long as they were in high school. This is probably because I work more now than I did back then, as I have to pay rent, groceries, and other bills that younger me never had to worry about. I’ve also grown up, and no longer spend my summers reading books or watching movies all day every day, despite how much I’d like to. Sadly, I was too busy with work and adult responsibilities to read more than a single book this summer.
I spent the first two months of summer looking for a place to live, which may not seem that bad if you’ve never done it before. This was my third time looking for a place to rent, so I’m basically a pro by now. Unfortunately, being a pro does not make it any easier. In fact, this time was one of the most stressful ones because I was completely alone. The past two times I had a roommate, but this time it was just me, as my roommate decided to move in with her boyfriend. I initially wanted to find another two-bedroom suite, as rent is considerably cheaper when split between two people. The problem was that I didn’t have a roommate lined up. I also decided that I wanted to live in an apartment, which was a mistake. Of the apartments I viewed, half were very old and rundown, looking completely different from the photos that showed new, updated, well-lit apartments. The other half were nicer but still not great, as they were much smaller than my current place and much more expensive. To make matters worse, several building managers bombarded me with questions about my financial standing, why I was looking for an apartment alone, and how I was possibly going to acquire a roommate. Some even went so far as to tell me that I had no chance of getting their apartment and that I should either look elsewhere or give up entirely, which was extremely discouraging.
I actually gave up after a while because I was so stressed about not being able to find a place that it was affecting my daily life, and any free time I had was spent frantically looking for apartments. Taking a breather really helped, as up until that point it felt like I hadn’t spent any time relaxing or enjoying my summer. I spoke to my parents about my situation and we agreed that I should look into one-bedroom suites, as that way I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a roommate. My mom is the one who started looking for one-bedroom suites online, and she is the one who found my current place. It is a carriage house, meaning that it is not a basement suite and that it is detached from the rest of the house, which is perfect. I was sure that I wouldn’t get it because it is very nice and expensive, plus it had a lot of interest. To my surprise, I got it, and after slowly packing my things for a month and stressing about moving, I finally moved in. After my housing dilemma was over, I felt like my summer had finally started.
Unfortunately, my summer “started” in August, meaning that I had one month to enjoy a four-month summer. I tried my best to fit in everything I wanted to do: I went downtown, went to all the landmarks and touristy locations, and met up with some friends. Later that month, my boyfriend and I went to Whistler for our two-year anniversary. Our mini-vacation was the best part of my entire summer, as it was the first time that I felt truly relaxed. There was nothing to worry about and no strict schedule to adhere to, so we could just do whatever we wanted. We ate some amazing food, went ziplining, explored the village, and explored nearby lakes and waterfalls. It truly felt like summer for the first time, which was both exciting and disheartening. It made me sad that I could only enjoy summer when I was out doing something. All the days I spent at home watching Netflix or just hanging out with my boyfriend felt like they didn’t count because I could do them anytime, even during school. To me, what makes summer feel like summer is the fact that you have so much more free time (that is, free time that is not taken up by massive amounts of homework), which you can spend going out and enjoying the beautiful weather (which is a must in Vancouver where it only lasts for a couple months). I have to go hiking, go sightseeing, go shopping, go to the beach, go to summer events, and go out with friends or my boyfriend for me to feel like I’ve made the most of my summer.
If my summer truly only consisted of the month of August then I would say I accomplished this, but with the other three months considered, I definitely did not. And I think that is part of the reason why I spent the last few weeks of summer dreading the start of classes. I felt like I didn’t get enough of a break to completely unwind, relax, and build up motivation to go back to school, because I am now two weeks into the fall semester and my motivation is negligible. I am hoping that over the next few weeks I can get back into it and become more motivated, but the fact that it got off to such a bad start makes me feel like it will only get worse. If my summer had been less stressful and more fun and fulfilling, I believe that I would be much more motivated than I currently am. But then again, I am in my fourth year of school, which is the point when most students’ motivation drops off completely. I have felt less motivated every semester, but what’s keeping me going is the knowledge that every semester I finish will bring me closer to graduating and (hopefully) starting my life. But for now, I will just grind through this semester and look forward to next summer.