Memories of Summer
Get out while it’s still warm!
Author: Simon Fuh
It’s a late Monday afternoon, my day off. A fan runs steadily in the bedroom blowing around the warm, stagnant summer air that comes in through my apartment window. I look occasionally out at the blue sky and it stares back at me, knowing I probably won’t go out to enjoy its company. No, instead today will be spent in front of the fluorescent lights of my laptop screen, switching between Youtube videos and old episodes of Breaking Bad. I’ll probably spend a bit of time on Facebook and various other social media outlets. Maybe I’ll even take a break from the computer and check out Instagram on my phone. I’ll click on the link bait and criticize whichever follower posted it. “How can they believe this?” I’ll say, “Isn’t it obvious that this website doesn’t care about the quality of their work? Whatever happened to real articles, instead of the myriad of top ten lists we all come across?” That was early August, now I’m back at the university. Soon, I’ll be following the orders of my professors, which are calculated to become increasingly vague over time, giving students the quasi-real life experience they all need.
But I don’t need to look far to find actual life experience. All I need to do is look back to the lull of the summer to peer into my future. All that time I wasted on the Internet was really just me living a life outside of school. The place your parents annoyingly referred to as “the real world” is a place that doesn’t answer your questions and won’t give you direction. There aren’t due dates, grades or paid mentors. There are only groups of people moving to places that you haven’t seen, too busy to make eye contact with you. In a couple of years, I’ll look again at these streams of people with more intent, and I’ll frantically wave around a piece of paper that’s supposed to convince them I’m worth allowing entry. Maybe someone will recognize me and do me a favor. Maybe no one will notice and I’ll be doomed to an existence as stale as the air in my room or the bread on my counter. I should try to be a little less pessimistic. After all, the coffee place a few blocks away just put up a help wanted sign; that’s an opportunity for upward mobility, right?
I know I should be more grateful for the opportunity to go to school in the first place. Sitting at my computer and complaining isn’t going to help my future at all, and it isn’t anyone’s fault but mine that I feel so bored. I’m reminded of that episode of South Park when Stan starts to see everything around him literally as shit. Everything on TV, all music, everything his friends say all appears like diarrhea in his mind. His doctor diagnoses him with “Being a Cynical Asshole”.
As the nearly God-like figures for youth today, it’s pretty difficult to ignore the wise words of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Perhaps my blankly staring out the window on beautiful days and complete lack of optimism for the future can simply be attributed to that incurable malady being a cynical asshole. However, it was my own cynicism that prompted writing this and some things should be seen as shit, no matter the person’s amount of cynicism; if I viewed half of the programming on TLC nowadays as gold I think it would be time to just give up on everything. A little bit of negativity can be a good thing sometimes, but my own seems to have amplified after a summer with too much time for introspection. Perhaps I should’ve gotten a second job, if not for my wallet, for my sanity.
Luckily now I can look forward to the school year. Instead of staring indifferently at the blue summer sky I will stare indifferently at textbooks. The stagnant air of my apartment will become the stagnant air of the library. Everything I do will be done with the safety of knowing that I have purpose; I’m not just wasting time, I’m slowly improving my quality of life. See, school seems to provide more than just an education sometimes.
Having a shelter from dealing with a fully adult life can be a welcome thing.