For some, this summer may have been a bit of a downer. Filled with internships, summer classes or other typical stress associated with college life, summer can seem like a glorified version of the school year. If you feel a little tired of the long summer days filled with work and stress, you aren’t alone. To be completely honest, I just want the summer to be over already. Now before I get all the usual rebuttals, just hear me out.
This summer was the first time I’ve ever lived alone. Since I had two different internships — one of which was in the Berkeley area — I decided to stay in Berkeley over the summer. I live in a co-op, so the house is practically empty, and I was given the chance to have a single. As someone from a big family, I’ve never had a room all to myself. It’s safe to say that I was a bit excited.
After the first week or so of summer though, I noticed how empty my room was. I wasn’t all that accustomed to the loneliness of it all. It didn’t really help that the room I was staying in is a double. By nature, seeing the empty bed and desk on the other side of the room was a total bummer. Even now, I still feel a tad bit of loneliness in my house. I can’t wait to move into my apartment in a couple weeks and hear the comforting sounds of others around me.
Even exploring the city of Berkeley, there seemed to be an eerie type of emptiness I wasn’t accustomed to. Popular places that used to be streaming with students like Sproul Plaza, Doe Library and the Durant Food Court were surprisingly devoid of people — except for the occasional tourist. Sadly, the energy that I know and love in Berkeley seemed muted, and I still can’t wait to hear the dull roar of students walking to their classes in a couple weeks.
Even in terms of social opportunities, I found myself pretty alone. Not many of my friends stayed in Berkeley and instead went to different cities for their internships. Since they were in these cities, it was hard to set up a time to meet virtually because they had plans with others near them. I couldn’t help but think about what I was missing out on by doing mostly virtual internships.
To add to my summertime blues, I thought it was a good idea to take on two part-time internships over the summer. The workload made me overwhelmed, to say the least. One of them I absolutely loved, since I was given a lot of time to grow in my field and the option to tailor my work to my interests.
The other was not so enjoyable. Since it was an unpaid internship, I felt really undervalued and that the work given to me was a little bit excessive. The internship was on my own schedule, so I found myself getting straight to work after I clocked out of my first internship. At the end of it all, I found this summer lacking the charm and freedom that it usually had in previous years. Instead of being able to look back at the Snapchat stories filled with fun memories of this summer, all I’ve truly done is work.
I do acknowledge that this is entirely my own experience — and a fortunate one at that. You may have had one of the best summers of your life this year, though. However, for the rare people like me who just want this summer to end, you aren’t alone. The good news is we only have a couple of weeks left.