People go on different adventures in their lives, some memorable and some forgotten with age or the passage of time. This summer in particular, is one that I’ll remember and one that has shaped me for years to come. I’m not usually one to assign significance to random events such as these but I can’t help but feel mentally older and wiser and well-rested after this summer, which prepared me more than I had ever thought for junior year.
I suppose I had lost myself a little towards the end of sophomore year. Everything became about school and having fun and I forgot to sit in my own head. In fact I can safely say that there was absolutely no “me” time, not even when I went down to TriBeca. Other people and situations were constantly on my mind, making me forget who I was in the process.
I entered the summer with a typical plan: classes for a month in NYC at NYU, then travel a bit, then stay on Long Island with family friends. Typical summer, nothing too exciting for me. I also had the mentality of a college student who was on break- aka I wanted to party like the world was ending. Luckily for me, one of my best friends (who I would later stay with in California) was staying with me and she had the coolest friends ever. This was probably the first time we were bonding for over a week and we definitely bonded. She and I are eerily similar, in our thought processes and desires, and it was great to have her be my roommate for the month of June. She taught me to look at myself from an outside perspective, and even during that first month I started to fix myself a little and grow properly.
During that first month I also partied, which is an understatement. I met this wonderful group of friends through her and we partied day and night and day and night. To the point where by the third day of hanging out with these people it felt like I had known them for ages. They spoke to us as if we were on their level and I didn’t feel younger or less experienced- I was growing with them in a way I hadn’t before, due to lack of older siblings in my household/lack of cousins in the USA. It was amazing! I got to experience bars and clubs in daytime and night-time setting, did chill activities when we got too tired of the party scene, and went back full blast! I also don’t drink (personal choice) and they were the easiest people to be around no matter how drunk they were (which is the case with most of my friends- I love it and when I do start, I know I can trust them too :) ).
Towards the end of my month with her, my friends came back from abroad and I realized I also couldn’t be separated by more than a month from her so she suggested I visit California. After a spontaneous decision and two hours of intense stress later, I had my flight booked for two days after returning from the Bahamas! I was also able to make plans to stay with a friend on Staten Island.
At this point in time, it all just seemed like fun. In the Bahamas we swam (A LOT), clubbed once or twice, swam with dolphins, snorkeled, rode jet-skiis, etc. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, the amount of relaxation definitely more than made up for the extra month of classes. The crystal clear blue water won’t be rivaled by anywhere else I visit north of the Bahamas, and my family friends are the best so my vacation was perfect. Two days later I was in the city, and then I was on my way to California! That was one heck of an amazing adventure. Not only was it amazing staying with her and her family, we saw all of California and the coast. It’s actually an amazing place to grow up in. I completely understand why Californians don’t want to leave their home state. We went to Disneyland and saw World of Color…that show was the best experience in my entire California trip. It probably summed up my entire life into one show.
After California (I came back first class! Thank you miles) I was slightly upset because I didn’t feel entirely settled with myself, despite the huge progress in Cali. My friend in Staten Island wanted me to stay with her at her place, so a few days later I was in Staten Island! This was chill as well, relaxing in bed and doing almost nothing besides a friend’s arangetram and getting back to my Tamil roots with karaoke and movies. We also had one crazy night in the city when we attempted to go clubbing but our friend got too sick and we ended up at the hospital instead. Typical college night right? However, with this group of people the oveall experience wasn’t stressful and we were all calm and great at handling it. This is why I truly love her Staten Island friends as well. It was a great trip and she’s someone who I can just do things with so it was perfect.
August was time to finally go back to Long Island, but a surprise opportunity presented itself when I got to work in the Hamptons at a boutique with a good friend. Our drives out early in the morning, the beach and the store, all of Main Street with the beach air, that was summer at its best on Long Island. I stayed with her one weekend after work was over and then we moved her and her roommate (the one I stayed with in Cali) into FIT in a LIMO thanks to my wonderful family friends. Picking her up from the airport to surprise her was the best, seeing the look on her face is why I do things like that.
Documenting my time this summer reminds me of how much of it I was alone, and how much I was with friends. It gave me a perfect balance away from the pressures of parents; the ability to manipulate my own money to travel was priceless, and using everything wisely, including my brain power and thoughts, helped me develop into a better person to ready myself for junior year of college.