In with summer, out with expectation


Avery Degenhardt

With summer just a matter of hours away, Nicole Genrich expresses her love for the season of freedom.

Nicole Genrich, Staff Reporter

Summer: the season of freedom, warmth, friends, travel and relaxation. My thoughts on summer basically come down to High School Musical Two when Sharpay sings “Fabulous” while laying out by the pool with her best friends.

Summer may not be for everyone, but it definitely is for me. Some people may hate the heat, the lack of activities, or not seeing their friends every day. However, warm weather is the best, and boredom is the perfect chance to be creative and stay busy.

The end of the school year is coming quickly, and I realized that I’m not nearly as exhilarated by the idea of summer coming up. Everyone should be thrilled to be done with this school year, which has been filled with some serious highs and lows. This school year for me at least has had some of the greatest moments, but also had some of my lowest moments, where I’ve felt like nothing can get better from here. So shouldn’t I be ready for this rollercoaster of a school year to end and stress-free summer to takeover?

I began to realize that my lack of excitement comes from fear that this summer won’t be nearly as good as the last summer, where I traveled a lot, met many new amazing people and connected with all my friends even more.

I also realized that all the loose summer plans with people about all the exciting things we were going to do this summer were giving me expectations that I’m afraid I won’t be able to live up to.

Last summer started with a cruise to Alaska with 21 family members, and I remember being a brat and not wanting to go. I also was told that an Alaskan cruise mostly consisted of old people, and after all we were going for my great uncle’s 80th birthday. It’s not that I don’t love my family, because I do, I love each and every one of them, and I should have been grateful for an adventure with the people I loved. However, my thoughts swirled around the thought of being forced to wear ugly matching family t-shirts like you see in tacky tourist pictures, long formal family dinners,  talking about politics and having family drama behind the scenes. No kidding about the matching t-shirts: they were a bright blue that exclaimed, “80 in Alaska,” and drew attention from all the other passengers. So much for trying to be cool and maybe meet new people.

As much as I hate to say this, I was so wrong. The second night aboard, my cousins and I to get out of a painfully-long family dinner decided to go and meet other people our age through the teen club.

We were being selfish, but I mean if my grandmother had asked me one more time why I didn’t have a boyfriend, after talking to my cousin about her “perfect high school relationship,” I was going to lose it. My grandmother approved with us going to the teen club, because she was always on board with us meeting new people and making connections.

My two cousins and I were planning to go to teen club for five minutes just to say we had gone, but then we met some really cool people. We became very close with a genius girl from Arizona and a cool guy from Wales. We met many other people and had great times with them, including late nights hanging out and then getting up to go ziplining, whale watching and sightseeing with my 21 other family members and I. My cousins and new friends and I would stay up playing cards, watching movies, hot tubbing and just having a great time enjoying each others’ company.

We were able to spend time and bond with our family during the day on our adventures, but then party at night. My lack of expectations for this trip made it amazing, because I bonded with my family and made lifelong friends.

Then I remembered that last summer was so great because I didn’t know what to expect, and made the most of every moment. I did not try to think about the perfect plans I was going to make and how they were going to turn out absolutely amazing. I simply just let things happen. As a person who worries and stresses all the time about things that I can’t control, it’s hard to not have expectations about anything, but the picture in your head about how things are supposed to be holds you back.

So with regards to this, raise your glass this summer and go do all the things you want to do, but be careful to not have preconceived notions about everything. Stay safe and even though it’s cliche, live in the moment more often.