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08 July 2010

Summer, in between spring and fall

 (This is sort of an add-on to my 4 July 2010 post.)

It's summer, and the weather is nice, and I'm both working and have a lot of freedom.  I've wrestled for about a month and a half with spring semester related issues, and I at least have a better plan for fall than I did for spring.   I have some new technology to work with, I'm moving a new apartment, and the beginning of fall semester will be exciting in a way that can only be experienced on a large college campus.

I'm feeling a bit out of sorts, though.

The critical issues from spring semester have been largely addressed.  I still have to put the new plan into practice, manage the stress and anxiety, and ultimately get things done.  That doesn't happen for a a while.  It's a month and a half, which right now seems like forever and a month and a half from now will seem like nothing.  Now, in the middle of summer, I get to sit around and think about stuff.  This is not always a good thing.

I work on campus, so I'm there 4-5 days a week, and if I have business other than work or just feel like exploring, I'll get to campus a few hours early.  There are 10,000 new freshmen on their way in.  I see them in herds, taking the campus tour, and I see them in smaller groups with their parents and brothers and sisters.  By the end of the day, the incoming students want their parents to go away so they can get on with the business of adjusting to college life.  I can see it in their faces: "Dad, I appreciate the fact that you bought me a new Macbook and are paying for me to go to school here.  But you need to leave me here with some money and some Ramen noodles and let me look around on my own."

I've always liked the start of a fall semester, and in this city especially, the atmosphere changes when the students come back at the end of summer.   It is a brief period of optimism, that space when you are relaxed from having the summer off and the reality of classes has not shown up yet.  It is also the feeling that classes are imminent, and with them, the life I've chosen.  I'm a student.  Right now, it's what I do.

And it's a little odd being a 40-something student, when your social circle is mostly 20-something students and they've all gone home for the summer.  I have friends who are in my age group, but for the most part they're either done with school or never going to start.  I know a few people who have their own kids in college, so it's a little surreal to talk about college student issues with people who hear the same things from their kids.  The 20-something students that are around over the summer find it surreal when I talk about people I know having kids and buying houses.

As time goes by, I am getting more and more comfortable with where I am in life.  It's times like this when I'm caught in between that things feel a little out of sorts.  Once I get packed and moved, and classes start, and I'm overly caffeinated every day, things will feel more chaotic and natural.

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