Now that school has let out, it’s time for freedom, sunshine, and good times. For most people this is the time to make memories before we are riddled with responsibility.
For me, my summer will be filled with responsibility. My goal is to use summer as a stepping stone for a brighter future. While my friends are basking in the sunlight and going to South Street, I will be at my paid internship, participating in my community, and focusing on my physical activity. Like any other teen, I want to play in the water and go to parties, but as great as that sounds, the euphoria that often comes with that freedom sometimes inhibits us from thinking about our future. I plan to use my summer to build my future.
I started by contacting my internship from last year and asking them if they had any available positions. Fortunately, they had a spot left for me. The internship is paid, close to home, and gives me hands-on experience in the field I want to work in (Social Work). The staff are also supportive and have similar degrees to the one that I want.
This summer, I will also participate more in my community. After taking ECG 100 (our Engagements with the Common Good courses), I decided that I didn’t want to wait until it was my job to advocate for change, I wanted to start now. The 2017 election left me drained and feeling like I didn’t have a voice when it came to civic decisions, but after re-visiting the civil rights era in class and seeing what evolved from it, I decided to re-try civic engagement. During our annual Mt. Airy Day festival, I talked to a lot of local organizations about volunteering and felt like these groups would give me experience and connections, as well as helping me find out which demographic I want to serve.
Lastly, I want to focus on my health. Diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family and although I’m not close to getting either, I don’t want to wait until my doctor tells me that I am in the danger zone to begin worrying about it. Obesity is a common factor in America, and it doesn’t help that a lot of the things we eat aren’t nutritious, especially while we’re in college. While at college, I've gained 20lbs and went up a pant size. That is a no-no for me. I plan to spend my summer exercising and reforming my diet. I believe that physical healthiness goes hand and hand with mental healthiness; if one is off, so is the other. Summer is a time to be young and wild, but it is also a time to pave your road to a better future.