Some of you may have noticed the rapidly approaching freight train coming around the corner, with its lights blazing and horn cutting through the silence like a meat cleaver. I’m talking about summer. As we all know, this can be a time of great relaxation and irresponsibility, or a time harrowed with misery and woe.
It used to be a no-brainer. Summer was awesome when we were kids. No school meant no teachers, no homework, and nothing but free time for you and your pals to kick a can down the street, hit the pool, or lose your stepdad’s autographed Babe Ruth baseball to the neighborhood beast hound. As college students we know better than to get nostalgic. School might be out for most, but there is still plenty of work left to do. There are essentially four types of people you can become for the summer months…
If you’re smart, you have been planning your summer out for months, and you already got a cushy gig that involves the internship of your dreams. You might have “earned” a spot at your dad’s law firm, where your main responsibility will be smoking cigars on the 18th hole with the partners. Maybe you made your way to NYC, and you’re doing advertising on Madison Avenue with a glass of Canadian Club in one hand and a secretary’s ass in the other.
Sadly, the majority of you will have regular, shitty internships. It’ll be just like pledgeship all over again. Common knowledge dictates that most interns work out of the janitor’s closet with nothing to eat but splash-resistant urinal cakes. Your new boss will most likely be a cross between your least favorite high school gym teacher and Cruella de Ville. If you combine those two metaphors, you have an over-controlling, obsessive, irrational, possibly sexist monster that drowns puppies.
The point is that your job description may say “intern,” but really you are a mix between a nanny, waiter and personal bitch to even the most subordinate of employees at the company. Maybe you thought you were going to learn valuable professional lessons, but you’ll most likely spend the summer nursing your wounded self-esteem and getting hazed by the corporate executives who want to see you squirm like Saddam at the end of a noose. At least you’re getting school credit.
The American Abroad
Another way of getting class credit is studying abroad, at least that’s what you told your parents. Realistically though, you want to study abroad because the drinking age is lower, and because you want the unique opportunity to show the rest of the world how fucking hard America rages.
Whether you spend your summer on a beach in Brazil, hopping through the bars of Madrid, or in the beer gardens of Berlin, studying abroad means getting fucked up with no responsibilities in all the best possible ways. This isn’t even your country, so who gives a shit? Just don’t murder your roommate in a threesome gone wrong, or you might be locked up in an Italian jail for four years.
Clearly, we already live in the greatest country on Earth, and one summer abroad will reassure you of this more than anything else. You’ll quickly be disgusted by how lazy and useless the rest of the world is, and that much more grateful that your forefathers had the decency to get you the fuck out of there.
If you are one of those sad people who stays at school over summer, then you run the risk of slowly going insane. You might have stayed for the summer classes, but it’s the overwhelming boredom that will get you in the end. Once summer hits, your college becomes a ghost town. Expect to see tumble weeds blowing through the student union, and hear wolves howling at the moon somewhere behind the stadium.
You might like it at first. The gym will be empty, the pool won’t be crowded and you could probably walk around campus in nothing but boat shoes without anyone even noticing.
However, after a while, you’ll find yourself getting a little weird due to lack of human interaction. You’ll end up with your knees clutched to your chest, rocking slowly back and forth, muttering to yourself.
Then, as your fragile psyche shifts from slight madness to stark raving lunacy, you will be greeted with an onslaught of incoming freshmen GDIs who will say really annoying shit like “Whoa! This campus is so cool! Let’s stick together so we don’t get lost.” If, in your insanity, you were to completely snap and attack these freshmen geeds (perhaps using one’s own longboard as a medieval mace) then I don’t think anybody could blame you.
There is really only one added benefit of staying put for summer. The freshmen girls will start swarming on you like flies on a dead raccoon on the side of I-95. Show them the frat house and buy a case of Natty Light. Their panties will drop faster than my grades during pledge semester.
The One That Goes Home
If you don’t get an internship, go abroad or stay at school, then you most likely will make the long, unbearable trip back to your hometown. Feel free to fist bump your dad when you tell him that your slam already misses your dong. Eventually, you’ll fall back into the same routine you had in high school. Raging face at your buddy’s beach house and smoking pot behind your neighbor’s shed was cool when you were 16, but I guarantee you’ll get bored and long for the days when you could haze the pledges by making them carry your drunk ass between bars for happy hour.
The point is that roaming your old high school parking lot for perspective conquests and hitting on your friend’s mom will get old. Start counting down the weeks until fall semester and all the shit-faced fun that will come with it. New pledges and freshmen sorority recruits will be waiting for you when you get back.