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Summertime Sadness: A Reflection on My Short-lived Voluntary Unemployment

After two semesters of waking up before the sunrise for 6:30am practices, races on the weekends, and winter training, I finally decided Boston College Men’s Crew was not for me and quit with only three weeks left. I gave seven months of my freshman year to a sport I tried out for on a whim and ultimately could not keep up with because honestly, my work ethic does not transfer to athletics. I rowed my last race the Saturday before finals week and would be going home that Thursday, earlier than all of my friends. I couldn’t wait to be home, especially because I could celebrate Mother’s Day, my sister’s high school graduation, and Memorial Day at my family’s lake house. My summer plans seemed to be falling into place before I could even arrive home, and I was on track to have ~the best summer of my life~ soon enough.

Unfortunately, you can’t control your mental health, and I was hit with a downswing as soon as I got home from BC. I felt lonely in my own room without my friends just down the hall from me. My bed had become less comfortable than my mattress pad, and yet I couldn’t force myself to leave it. The unpacked clothes and belongings from school seemed far too daunting to tackle. Weirdest of all, I missed crew terribly after quitting a week before. Three days into my summer, and I already wanted to go back to BC, which isn’t an abnormal feeling to have after yotumblr_mk1ji54y0m1qlxhzjo4_250ur freshman year, so I’ve learned. However, because I had anchored myself to BC, crew, my friends, schoolwork, and partying (let’s not ignore it), I began to undergo a series of existential crises from the internment of my bedroom. I got that summertime sadness.

Unemployment sounded so cool in my head until I found out all of my friends would have jobs, internships, and study abroad programs this summer, while I would be stuck in good ol’ Fort Wayne, Indiana and sitting in my room watching Netflix. Arriving home affirmed my sentiments about being unemployed. My summer of freedom morphed into a prison sentence rather quickly. I was bored. I was sad. I felt like a loser, especially when I got this weird urge to hang out with my parents only to find out they already made plans without me. Thankfully, I could tag along with my sister to her friend’s graduation parties. It wasn’t that weird to be there since my sister and all her friends are a year younger than me, but I didn’t feel like a cool college kid like I did before, just a washed up one. Summer was off to a great start.

My existential crises continued into the bleak Fort Wayne nights. I had no late night mozzarella sticks to console me. I longed to live in Princess Mia’s fire station house in San Francisco. I bought a fish, and it died an hour later. I was not featured in the ‘Bad Blood’ music video with all of my friends (thanks Taylor). I watched too many episodes of Hoarding: Buried Alive with my mom. I started crying in the grocery store parking lot one day because I found myself watching a video of Heath Ledger’s family accept his Oscar on YouTube. I constantly asked myself, “Why do I live here?” and “What the hell am I going to do with my life?” on far too many occasions, only to audibly laugh to myself and just determine that I still have absolutely no clue.

Don’t get me wrong, my summer has been awfully boring and unfulfilling, but there were some brighter moments. Other than getting to spend loads of time with my family, whether they like it or not, my sister and I got sushi one evening, and our waitress was literally the cutest human being alive and made me love life. I’ve eaten Chipotle more times than I can count since I got home, which makes me happy. I went to some high school graduation parties and ate amazing food. Basically, the best things I have done this summer have been centered on eating, so naturally I applied for a job after ten days of being home. I start Monday. RIP to my brief summer unemployment that taught me that being a lazy degenerate after my freshman year is not nearly as liberating as it seems.

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